Hyderabad: The Telangana police shot dead all four accused in the ‘Disha’ rape-murder case in the early hours of Friday — just over a week after the crime — in a reminder of the 2008 police action in Warangal when three youths suspected to have attacked two engineering students with acid had been gunned down.
The police have called their Friday action an “encounter”, saying they had to opened fire in “self-defence” after the four men tried to escape in the dark after pelting them with stones.
The four accused — Arif, Gollu Shiva, Gollu Naveen and Chennakesavulu — had been taken to an underpass on the Hyderabad-Bengaluru highway next to Chatanpally village near Hyderabad to reconstruct the crime scene, according to the police.
‘Disha’, a veterinarian in Hyderabad, was set on fire on the night of 27 November at the very spot, after she was allegedly raped at the Shamshabad tollgate, which is closer to the city.
The Hyderabad “encounter” has a distinct stamp of the Warangal incident, which took place in 2008. V.C. Sajjanar, the Cyberabad Commissioner now, was then the superintendent of police of Warangal district.
After the Disha rape-murder accused were arrested, a large section of the public in Telangana had demanded the “Warangal justice” in the case, and are now hailing the police move. Praise has come from political circles too.
JUSTICE SERVED! Now, Rest In Peace Disha.
— Jr NTR (@tarak9999) December 6, 2019
No more protests, no more social media protests, no more political speech, no more news channel debates.
Real-life heroes have done justice.
Salute to Hyderabad police
Justice done?#DishaCase #hyderabadpolice #bullet_for_rape@hydcitypolice
— Sanket (@Sanket62500821) December 6, 2019
— Debishree Biswal (@DebishreeB) December 6, 2019
My salute to the #hyderabadpolice department for the Action they took… waiting for the day where every women feels safe and secure to live in this country..
— A.R.Murugadoss (@ARMurugadoss) December 6, 2019
ThePrint had last Friday reported that as the horrific details of the crime emerged, social media users in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana began demanding that police deliver the same “justice” they did in Warangal.
The Warangal incident took place 11 years ago in the same month of December.
V.C. Sajjanar, the then SP of Warangal, was hailed as a hero “for quickly eliminating the culprits and offering solace to the grieving parents”.
After Friday’s encounter, Sajjnar inspected the encounter site along with other Cyberabad police officers. He reportedly confirmed that the Disha murder accused were killed anywhere between 3 am and 6 am Friday morning.
A large number of locals who gathered at the encounter site raised slogans in support of the police action, and Sajjanar was once again hailed as the “hero”, particularly on social media. Tweets began pouring in with #Sajjanar, with some replacing their display pictures with that of the senior IAS officer.
Such has been the support for the police action that even the Left parties, which usually condemn such “extra-judicial killings”, came out in support of the Hyderabad encounter.
“Police encounters are sometimes bogus like the now proven 2012 Chhattisgarh encounter (of 17 “Maoists”),” CPI national secretary K Narayana told ThePrint. “But the Disha accused are a social evil who might not have got the deserved punishment by law. We support this police action and hope this would send a message of fear to such offenders.”
Sense of relief, says doctor’s family
Disha’s family expressed their gratitude to the police for bringing a “sense of relief” to them and “peace” to Disha.
“They are beasts in human form. Their killing would bring peace to Disha’s soul and some sense of relief to us. Our daughter melted in their hands like a candle but her suffering has shown ‘disha’ to the nation,” said her mother.
“We are content now. We thank the police for the act and hope this encounter would deter such wrongdoers from committing such crimes on women,” said Disha’s sister.
Disha’s father defended the police action, saying, “If left alive, they might do such horrific crimes again.”
On 27 November, Disha, who was stranded at the Shamshabad tollgate, was allegedly abducted by the accused. According to the police, the four deflated her trye of her two-wheeler and approached her on the pretext of help, and then dragged her into a walled deserted compound nearby, according to the police. The men allegedly poured whiskey into her mouth and took turns to repeatedly rape her even as she fell unconscious.
They later took her to the Chatanpally underpass and burnt her alive, according to the police.