Four people accused of raping and killing a woman near Hyderabad, Telangana, were shot dead in public on Friday morning, which police claimed was an “encounter” after which the men tried to flee.
The horrific nature of the crime – the woman was allegedly trapped, raped, smoked before being burned by four men – sent a shock through the country and, once again, revived the debate on female safety in India.
Four men – all lorry workers in their early 20s – were arrested a day after the four remains of a Telangana vet were found under a culvert on National Highway 44, which connects Hyderabad to Bengaluru. His remains were found just outside Hyderabad.
Under immense pressure, the Cyberabad police investigating the rape and murder of the Telangana doctor claimed that the matter had been resolved within a few days. Police claimed that the woman parked her scooter near a toll plaza on the highway, after which they made elaborate plans to rape her. Police claimed that four men punctured her scooty tire, trapped her when she came back, raped her, murdered her and then set her on fire.
- The four were lodged in the Cherlapally Central Jail on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The four were under 24-hour surveillance and were jailed in different wards.
- Earlier this week, a court remanded four people to police custody. Following his arrest last week, all four were in judicial custody. Police sought custody of the men for further investigation. This Wednesday, a local court allowed a police petition and sent the men to seven days of police custody.
- On Thursday night, all four people were taken out of the Cherlapally Central Jail in a bus by a seven-member police team. The police wanted to re-organize the events of last Wednesday when the four allegedly trapped, raped and killed a Telangana vet.
- For the reconstruction, the police followed the exact time frame of the crime as it happened last week. And so, first, the police took four people to the Shamshabad toll plaza on the outskirts of Hyderabad. It was here that four people allegedly saw a Telangana vet last week and planned to rape her.
- At the toll plaza, the police questioned four people and matched their statements.
- According to the investigation, four men parked their scooter at the toll plaza on Wednesday night. The four drinkers planned to rape her and one of them punctured the rear tire of her scooter. When the woman returned, one of the four approached her on the pretext of fixing the puncture tire of her scooter. Then, the four dragged him to a different compound nearby, raped and beat him before setting fire.
- Now, with their investigation at the Shamshabad toll plaza last night, the police team took four people to a culvert on the Hyderabad-Bengaluru highway, under which the burnt remains of the Telangana doctor were discovered last week.
- According to police, it was there, things got messed up. On the culvert, police claim, the men – who were apparently not handcuffed – tried to escape. Unverified reports stated that the men snatched a gun from policemen and opened fire on the police.
- Police claim that they were forced to open fire on four people due to the incidents at the above point. The men were found dead about 500 meters from the place where the body of the woman was found last week. The bodies of the four men were found at a distance of 20–30 feet from each other. It was around 3 o’clock.
- Police have not said much about the events of last night and Friday morning. A forensic team is investigating the scene of the incident and officials have said that an investigation will be conducted under the guidelines set by the Supreme Court for police encounters.