Is it Encounter? No. It is a Custodial Murder

hyderabad encounter

I have no doubt in my mind that this is not even a stage managed encounter of the four youth who are said to have been involved in the rape and murder of veterinary doctor in the suburban areas of Hyderabad. It is a pure custodial murder. The people’s anger gave strength to the Telangana police who are already blood thirsty to resort to this extreme step of exterminating the four individuals, who are accused of rape and murder. The police’s claim that they had to kill them as they were fleeing from their custody is unbelievale. Even if they were fleeing from the custody of the police, they could have fired at them to incapacitate them from fleeing. Four unarmed youth, who are already half dead because of police torture, overpowering the fully armed police could never have happened. The police simply cashed on the out cry of middle class people.

Police’s claim that the accused were escaping from their custody and therefore they had to kill them in a way amounts to their admission that they cannot even control the unarmed accused in their cusody. This is nothing but telling the world that they are incapable of doing the simple job of accompanying the accused.

I do not agree with the court which gave them to the police custody. If we go by the press reports , police were seeking custody to reconstruct the crime scene. Crime scene is not at one place . It is spread over an area of more than twenty five kilometres.

When the accused has the right to remain silent as enshrined in Article20(3) of the Constitution and any statement made by the accused whilst in cusody does not help the prosecution one wonders what purpose the police custody would serve.

Whether the accused are given legal aid for their effective, yes effective representation in the court? This speaks volumes.
Did the court arrange any advocate to be present with the police during interrogation?

Was there any meeting between the advocate, if any appointed by the court to represent them before the court, and the accused?

Law minister Mr indrakaran

Reddy says God did justice. It is the police who did the ‘justice’! So police are gods and the Minister is their worshipper. School books say that Minister is the boss who carries out his functions through his subordinates. Police are subordinates to the Ministers but not vice versa. But now subordinates became Lords and the Minister reduced his position to that of a subordinate. What a paradox!!

If the demand of a section of the middle class for killing them is fulfilled by the police, the police have to openly say that they did justice by imposing and carrying out death penalty.

But the police did not say so. So how can the police say and the government justify that justice is done?. And how can the public satisfy itself that their demand for justice was met? Whether the public demanded to kill and then resort to lies?

To cover up their inefficiency and the public outrage at their lethargy and arrogant and unruly behaviour with the parents of the veterinarian, police resorted to this extreme step.

I saw some advocates garlanding some police officers and celebrating the killing by eating sweetmeats with them. Such advocates are degrading their own profession, which demands fair trial. Justice without trial is unheard-of. December 10, world Human Rights Day, is fast approaching

Article 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in unequivocal terms proclaims that the person who is facing a criminal charge shall be tried in an open court and he shall be regarded as an innocent till his guilt is proved. How can the lawyers celebrate the killing? Such advocates must declare that from tomorrow onwards they will not defend any person accused of any criminal offence. Can they do it?

Why should the killing be regarded it a custodial death? The dead are in the custody. The custody was taken by the orders of the court from jail. As a matter of fact the dead were in the judicial custody. They were temporally given to the police custody. Merely because the dead were in the police custody for a limited purpose and for limited duration the judicial custody does not come to an end. So it is the court that has to take cognizance of the murder of the persons who were in its de jure custody. The court has to see that impunity does not work.

Every death in an encounter or in police custody is a homicidal death. Every homicidal death is to be tried as a murder case. The person who claims the special privilege of right to private defence has to prove it as a fact. Till that is established the person claiming the special privilege is to be presumed to be a murderer. Police cannot hush up the case. Officers who participated in the custodial murder have to be prosecuted for the offence of Murder. And since Police officers participated in this ghastly incident are from Telangana police, let there be fair investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

By this killing what the police wanted to say is that they do not have competence necessary to scientifically investigate the case and secure punishment in lawful methods in a court of law.

Public outrage at the rape and murder incident cannot be equated with the public sanction to do away with the perspns in custody . The alleged sanction to the unlawful acts of the police make them to assume unbridled powers. When the powers assigned by law are transgressed, the very act of transgression is regarded as misconduct. Law, in its prudence, assigned some powers to the law enforcing agencies. On the pretext of social sanction the law enforcing agencies are not supposed to assume powers for themselves. If that be the case the rule of law would be replaced by rule of arbitrariness, which is not safe for democracy.

Gorrepati Madhava Rao, President, Human Rights Forum, Telangana State. A practising lawyer since 1983. Lives at Nizamabad. Graduated fron Osmania University. Email [email protected]




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