Disha encounter was fake, says SC panel
Deccan Chronicle.| Vujjini Vamshidhar & Parmod Kumar
SC directed to share the report with all involved parties and sent to Telangana HC, specifically to try 10 police officers for the murder
The Supreme Court of India (AFP)
New Delhi, Hyderabad: The Supreme Court-appointed commission headed by its former judge, Justice V.S. Sirpurkar has held in its report that the December 6, 2019, encounter of four suspected accused in the rape and murder of a veterinary doctor, called Disha, while in police custody was fake.
The commission had submitted its report on January 28, 2022.
"There is nothing confidential. Someone has been found guilty and now the state has to look into it," said the bench comprising Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and Justice Hima Kohli and insisted on making public the commission’s report since it was an "encounter" case. The bench directed that the report be shared with all involved parties and sent to the Telangana High Court for further proceedings, specifically to try 10 police officers for the murder.
Four rape and murder accused — Mohammed Arif, Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu, Jolu Shiva and Jollu Naveen — were killed in an encounter on the outskirts of Hyderabad, with police claiming they had snatched weapons and tried to open fire.
The commission report recommended that 10 police officers — V. Surender, K. Narasimha Reddy, Shaik Lal Madhar, Mohammed Sirajuddin, Kocherla Ravi, K. Venkateshwarulu, S. Arvind Goud, D. Janakiram, R. Balu Rathod and D. Srikanth — be tried for the offences of murder, destruction of evidence and common intention to commit crime.
Besides Justice Sirpurkar, the other members of the three-member inquiry commission were former judge of the Bombay High Court Justice Rekha Sundar Baldota and former CBI director D.R. Kaarthikeyan.
The report said that the "The police version that accused snatched a pistol and tried to escape is unbelievable, and not backed by evidence."
"In our considered opinion, the accused were deliberately fired upon with an intent to cause their death and with the knowledge that the firing would invariably result in the death of the deceased suspect," the commission said.
Significantly, the commission found that three among the dead persons — Jollu Shiva, Jollu Naveen and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu — were minors.
The top court by its December 12, 2019, order had appointed the Justice Sirpurkar Commission to inquire into the encounter of four suspected accused in the rape and murder of a veterinary doctor.
The inquiry commission held its hearings spread over 47 days between August 21, 2021, and November 15, 2021, examined 57 witnesses and recorded their evidence. The hearings were held in public.