Educational Legal Nation Telangana

Disha encounter: Telangana Cops give vague, contradictory statements

Hyderabad: More contradictions have surfaced, ranging from ‘fainting upon hearing the sound of a gunshot’ to ‘not knowing English language’, with regard to the ongoing probe into 2019 encounter of the four accused persons involved in the Disha rape, an inquiry panel stated.

The findings were revealed during the hearings of the Supreme Court-appointed three-member panel between August and November 2021, where 54 witnesses including 15 policemen were questioned in the hearings that were concluded in the previous week, said a report from The Print.

Amongst those who deposed before the NHRC commission are the then Cyberabad Commissioner V C Sajjanar, doctors, forensic experts, families of the accused and the victim and the Telangana home secretary Ravi Gupta.

Media reports also said that the transcripts of Sajjanar’s deposition in Hyderabad showed that the broad version of the story from most of the cops during the probe is identical, as follows:

“The four accused reportedly threw soil in the cops’ eyes when they were taken to the site for crime reconstruction. The accused subsequently hit the cops with sticks leading to unconsciousness among some, and then two of them allegedly snatched pistols and started firing. Then-Additional Commissioner of Police V. Surender asked the accused to surrender, however they kept firing, following which the police was coerced to retaliate.”

However, The Print reported that when the officers were cross examined about the ‘encounter’ and how exactly they were attacked, there was much ambiguity and disconnect between statements. The officers reportedly gave vague responses like “I do not remember”, “I don’t know” and “I cannot say”.

When asked why the statements they gave to the judicial magistrate of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) did not match the ones they gave to the inquiry panel, they reportedly said that it was because they cannot read English.

While Ex-ACP Surender alleged that he was threatened by the NHRC officials while taking his disposition, Sajjanar said that he got to know about it after the encounter, claiming that he had no knowledge that the accused were being taken to the crime scene.

Another policeman man, constable Aravindh Goud told the inquiry panel that he lost consciousness after heard the firing sound for the first time. He was handling one of the accused.

While cross examining head constable Devarshetti Sreekanth on Friday, the panel showed him photos of the crime scene and asked him to point out where the soil that the accused allegedly threw it into the cops’ eyes was from. The photographs shown by the panel from December 6 displayed that the area was mostly covered in grass.

About three weeks ago, Surender, while appearing before the Supreme Court appointed Sirpurkar commission, said that he was in a bad mood after the demise of the accused and hence was unable to record the details properly. The Sirpurkar Commission is probing the encounter of the accused in the Disha rape case.

Surender claimed that when the accused were taken to the spot, they snatched the weapons from the policemen, threw mud in their eyes and fired shots, as a result of which the cops had to open fire on the accused. The case was reportedly registered on the basis of the complaint lodged by him.

The commission, however, questioned why the affidavit, which was later filed, did not state that the accused had sprayed mud or opened fire. The ACP said that he was not in a good mood after the encounter and could not name them.

“Who extinguished the mud before? Did mud fall in anyone’s eyes?” questioned the commission. The former ACP replied that he could not see properly as if was dark but had instructed his subordinates to fire in the direction of the noise.

A few days ago, the ACP had alleged that he was threatened by officials working for the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).