Hyderabad: Telangana Minister Talasani Shrinivas Yadav on Sunday clarified that the controversial statement, wherein he had reportedly said that the encounter in Telangana where four men accused in rape and murder were killed was a lesson that anybody who commits such heinous crime can expect to be eliminated in the encounter, has been "misinterpreted."
"What I said at the beginning, what I said at last..they are cutting it and pasting it in middle. That is not the proper interpretation. It is not correct," he said while speaking to ANI.
The Minister while speaking to ANI stressed that Telangana administration took immediate action and arrested the accused.
Speaking about the encounter, the Minister said, "They (accused) were taken at the place for scene reconstruction. They kept misleading. They started pelting stones at the police. They tried to fire after snatching revolver from ASI. But the law is there for self-protection. They (Police) took action according to law."
But he highlighted that a message has gone in the country in the aftermath of the entire episode.
On Saturday, Telangana minister backed the alleged killing of four accused in the murder-cum-rape case of a veterinarian near Hyderabad in an encounter saying that anybody who commits a crime so cruel can expect to be eliminated in a police encounter.
"This is a lesson. If your conduct is wrong, you won't benefit from any court trial, prison sentence or subsequent bail as the case drags on. There will not be anything like that anymore. Through this, we have sent across a message that if you do something that's so wrong and cruel, there will be an encounter," Talasani Srinivas Yadav, the State Animal Husbandry Minister, said in an interview with a local television channel.
Yadav also termed the killing of the accused, an incident condemned by rights groups and senior officers in the judiciary, as an example of the K Chandrashekar Rao government's commitment to alleviating the law and order situation in the state.
"This is a very strong message we have sent. This is an ideal we have set for the country. We are setting a model not just through our welfare schemes but also through our handling of law-and-order issues," the senior minister said, adding that picking on the Chief Minister in this regard will not help because there are many who support him.
On Friday, all the four accused, who were arrested on charges of raping and setting the woman ablaze accused in Telangana's Shamshabad on November 27, were shot dead in police encounter after they allegedly tried to escape while the crime scene was being reconstructed, a development that drew sharp criticism from various quarters including, rights groups and senior officers in the judiciary.
Earlier on Saturday, Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde had opposed the practice of extrajudicial killing, saying that justice loses its character when it takes the form of revenge. "I believe justice loses its character if it becomes revenge," he had said.
The police’s action received mixed opinion with some claiming that the move would act as a deterrent and help stop such heinous crime, while others criticising the encounter, saying the accused were killed without being given a chance to prove their innocence in court.
Earlier, Cyberabad Commissioner VC Sajjanar had told the media that the police action was a retaliatory move and that they shot down the four only after they attacked them with stones and sticks.