Hyderabad: Mr V.C. Sajjanar, the Cyberabad police commissioner who has come to be known as the ‘encounter cop’, has won much applause on social media after the police shot dead the four suspects in the rape and murder of the veterinarian known as Disha.
Tweeting ‘Saho Sajjanar’, netizens thanked him for his “Warangal justice” to the victim’s family (the reference is to an earlier encounter killing he figured in in Warangal).
Netizens posted on their walls news reports of the Warangal encounter which took place on December 13, 2008 on the outskirts of Warangal city.
It may be worth recalling the Warangal encounter incident which has many similarities to the Hyderabad one.
Three men were arrested a few hours after they purportedly threw acid on two girls. A police team had taken them into custody. The suspects were then taken to the place where they had hidden the stolen motorbike and acid bottle used in the attack. “They suddenly took out a country-made weapon and tried to open fire and also threw acid on policemen. The police opened fire in self-defence, and killed all the three accused,” said Mr Sajjanar who was a superintendent of police then.
The accused were arrested on a Friday evening and Mr Sajjanar had presented them before the media, claiming that the police had achieved a breakthrough within 48 hours. The trio had admitted to having committed the crime.
Mr Sajjanar said the suspect Srinivas had confessed during interrogation that he bore a grudge against one of the victims, Swapnika, because she did not reciprocate his love and was seeing another boy. He planned the attack with two friends to disfigure Swapnika so that no one would be attracted to her.
Swapnika’s family members had said that they were relieved that the accused had been killed, but alleged that they had been murdered by the police. Human rights activists also raised doubts about the police claim that the accused were killed in a gun battle.
The similarities to the present case are obvious. That the encounter killing — which is an extra-judicial killing and totally against the law — has been welcomed by the public, is an indication of how little confidence the public has that the due process of law will bring justice. Indeed, a Member of the Upper House of Parliament seems to hold the same opinion when she declared that a public lynching would be a good punishment for the offenders in the Disha case ....