Hyderabad: The three-member panel constituted by the Supreme Court to probe into the alleged encounter of the four accused in the Disha rape and murder case continued to cross-examine the then ACP of Shadnagar, Vasam Surender, on Monday.
With 410 questions and counting, this is the longest questioning of a witness in the case so far.
Vasam Surender and his team escorted the four accused men — Mohammed Arif, Jollu Shiva, Jollu Naveen and Ch. Chennakesavulu — to Ravi Guest House, the safehouse they were kept until they were taken for the scene reconstruction at Chatanpally on December 6, 2019.
The panel asked the then ACP, who is currently posted in the CID, about the cross-firing at Chatanpally during the alleged ‘crime scene reconstruction’ on the morning of December 6, to which the official said he could not answer properly as he had sand/dust particles in his eyes during the alleged retaliation.
Vasam Surender told the commission that he had given the order to open fire at the accused. He was the investigating officer and that the four accused men were firing at the police, the officer said. He ordered his officials to shoot and scare the accused but not to kill them, he said.
The panel asked Vasam Surender why he did not ask them to shoot at their feet, if they wanted to just scare them and not kill them. The panel also asked how the accused had an entry wound in the back — if there was ‘cross-firing’ they should have been injured in the front. Vasam Surender replied that they might have moved during that time.
When asked whether he noticed any blunt object or an iron rod with the four accused, Vasam Surender said no. The panel then showed the list of injuries caused to the officials with an iron rod, to which Surender could not reply.
Earlier, the official was asked about the statement he signed off to the NHRC team and the discrepancies in the same, to which he said it was late at night and that they threatened him with a report against him. The officer also said details in his affidavit had some gaps compared to his case diaries and that his statement was recorded by the investigating officer, Rachakonda DCP of SOT, J. Surender Reddy was incorrect. When asked about which parts of his statements were incorrectly recorded, he was not able to recall and said that he would answer as and when he remembered it.
The officer was also questioned about the custody of the four accused and where, how and when their confessional statements were recorded and also about why it took him 24 hours to reach the safehouse after the accused were taken into custody....