After it emerged that the four accused in the rape-and-murder of a 25-year-old woman veterinarian were shot dead by police, the victim’s family, lawyers and activists took to various forms of media to react to the issue.
According to sources, the four accused, who were under arrest, had tried to flee when they were taken to the site of the crime to reconstruct the crime scene.
Here are some of the reactions:
Thought of killing accused never struck, says ex-police officer who handled Nirbhaya case
Former Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar, who handled the Nirbhaya gangrape-and-murder case, said the thought of killing the accused never crossed his mind. Mr. Kumar recalled that it was a “tough time” when the Nirbhaya case was reported in December 2012 since the policemen were treated as “rapists”.
“There was a lot of pressure at that time, but the thought of killing them never came.
“We were getting messages, asking us to throw the accused in front of hungry lions. Someone said castrate them in public, someone said lynch them, but we just stuck to our guns. There was no question of doing anything illegal,” Mr. Kumar told PTI over phone.
Mr. Kumar, who had also served as the Joint Commissioner of Police, Special Cell, said encounters took place during his tenure as well and the one at Ansal Plaza, in which two suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba militants were gunned down inside the crowded mall, faced questions.
“After every encounter, there are always questions and this (Hyderabad) was not an encounter with a terrorist or gangster. It was in a case which has been under public scrutiny.
“To investigate what actually happened and transpired, there is a judicial inquiry that has been ordered. We have to wait for its findings to know whether the encounter was justified or not,” he said.
Mr. Kumar had penned a book, The Khaki Files , in which he mentioned that his daughters were threatened with rape and his resignation was demanded. The Delhi Crime series on Netflix, based on the Nirbhaya incident, also showed the politics behind the case at that time.
“It was a very tough time for me. I was made to feel that I was one of the rapists. We were doing our job and were not at fault.
“I volunteered to undergo a judicial inquiry and it even said that the police was not at fault. People were baying for our blood, but it was all stage-managed,” Mr. Kumar said.
Must wait for magisterial inquiry outcome: Congress
The Congress on Friday said that only after a magisterial inquiry a stand can be taken on the encounter of all the four men accused of raping and murdering a 25-year-old Hyderabad woman veterinarian last month.
The four accused were shot dead by police on Friday during a pre-dawn exchange of fire near Hyderabad, a top police official said, as the killings were largely greeted with praise but also sparked concerns over extra-judicial executions.
“A magisterial inquiry is taking place. I just cannot speak on what will be the outcome of the magisterial inquiry, but we should wait... We need to hear the police version because all encounters cannot be bracketed into the same terminology,” Congress MP Amee Yajnik said at a party press conference.
“In the morning today we saw what happened. Police people have to go and reconstruct the case and that is why the accused were taken. It appears that as part of the investigation, police took the accused there and what has transpired has led to the death of those four accused being shot,” she said.
Justice has been delivered, says Anil Vij
Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij said justice has been delivered to the victim in the case of rape and murder of the young women veterinarian in Hyderabad.
After the four accused in the case were killed in an exchange of fire with the police at Chatanpally of Shadnagar, near Hyderabad, Mr. Vij said “What happened? how did it happen? but it was right.”
“The rape victim has got justice in a true manner. It has been 7 years in the Nirbhaya incident but the accused have not yet been punished. Rules must be changed, in such cases there should be a summary trial and guilty should be punished. There should be no further appeal or plea,” he said.
-- Vikas Vasudeva
Odisha Law Minister says “nothing wrong” with police action
Odisha’s Law Minister Pratap Jena said that the Hyderabad Police did “nothing wrong” in killing the four persons arrested in connection with the rape and murder of a woman veterinarian.
Noting that the four deserved stringent punishment, the Law Minister said the human rights activists may say something, but the fact remained that they (accused persons) were involved in most heinous crime.
“I think, there is nothing wrong committed by the Hyderabad Police. The four persons accused in a heinous crime, were killed while trying to escape. This is my personal view,” Mr. Jena told reporters at Lok Seva Bhawan.
“There are countries where the culprits of such crimes are beheaded. In our country, such criminals should be given stringent punishment,” the Minister said.
The opposition BJP and the Congress also hailed the Hyderabad police action.
It’s need of the hour: Nirupam
Coming out in support of the Hyderabad Police over the encounter of the four accused in the woman veterinarian’s rape-and-murder case, Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam said such an action was the “need of the hour“.
The former Mumbai Congress chief also congratulated the Hyderabad police for instilling a sense of security among women of the country.
“Encounter killing of all 4 accused of #HydrabadRapeCase may seem like unlawful but it was the need of the hour. I congratulate #hydrabadpolice to instill a sense of security in the women of our country. #HumanRights activists may not agree but a strong messages had to be put out,” Mr. Nirupam said in a tweet.
BJP MP Goutam Gambhir tweets to say "Barbarians deserve no mercy. With all the earnestness at my command, I urge every citizen to support @rashtrapatibhvn and promote review of mercy petitions. Once death penalty is pronounced, rapists should be sent to the gallows right away and without any delay. #DeathtoRapists."
Hyderabad encounter will send out strong message: DCW chief
Delhi Commission For Women (DCW) Chief Swati Maliwal on Friday said the Hyderabad encounter will send out a strong message, but there are still thousands of victims who are awaiting justice.
Four accused in the rape-and-murder case of a 25-year-old woman Hyderabad veterinarian were killed in an exchange of fire with police in the morning.
“What about thousands of Nirbhayas who are still waiting for justice. At the end of the day, there will be a strong message (after the encounter), and people will feel justice was done. But l want this country to run through a system,” M.s Maliwal said.
The DCW chief is on an indefinite hunger strike to demand capital punishment for rapists within six months of their conviction.
Yediyurappa backs police action in Hyderabad encounter
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa backed the Telangana police action killing four accused in the rape and murder of a woman veterinarian near Hyderabad, saying they acted in self- defence.
“They (accused) tried to attack and escape when they were taken to spot (of crime), so the encounter was inevitable to save their (police) lives,” he told reporters in Bengaluru.
According to Cyberabad police, the four, arrested in connection with the brutal incident, were shot dead after they ’attacked’ the personnel and attempted to escape when taken to the spot for crime reconstruction early Friday.
Killing of accused correct and timely: Bengaluru top policeman
Defending the killing of all four accused in the rape-and-murder of a 25-year-old Hyderabad veterinarian by the police on Friday, Bengaluru top policeman Bhaskar Rao termed it as “correct and timely action” given the situation.
Had the accused escaped from custody, the police would have been under tremendous pressure, the Bengaluru Police Commissioner said.
“During the reconstruction of the crime scene as part of the investigation the accused have tried to escape from the police following which this strong action has been taken,” he told reporters here.
The last month’s brutal incident of rape in the Telangana capital could have happened anywhere and the police there was under pressure to solve the crime and bring the offenders to book, he said.
“The action of Hyderabad/Cyberabad police was correct and timely, there can be no second opinion. If they (accused) had escaped from the custody, they (police) would have been under tremendous pressure.the incident has happened during inquiry and it needs to be defended. Cyberabad police has taken required action,” Mr. Rao added.
Also, pointing out that Cyberabad police commissioner V C Sajjanar hails from Hubballi in Karnataka, Mr. Rao said, he and his team has acted “according to the situation".
'Happy' that someone got justice: Akhilesh Yadav
Hours after all four accused in the rape-and-murder of a 25-year-old woman veterinarian were killed in an encounter with police in Hyderabad on Friday, Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav said he was “happy” that someone got justice.
“Those running away from law...how far could they run from justice. I am happy that someone has got justice but real happiness will come when there will be effective preventive security arrangements and social atmosphere that such heinous crimes never happen with any sister or daughter,” Mr. Yadav tweeted in Hindi, without mentioning the Hyderabad encounter.
Abhishek Singhvi takes to twitter
"Sometimes in spite of all the debates and #HumanRights logics, we shall understand the mood and sentiments of the people of the nation and stand with them. After all, democracy is all about 'The People'. #Encounter," says Congress RS MP and spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Twitter.
NHRC takes cognisance of Hyderabad encounter, orders probe
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) took cognisance of the killing of four men accused of raping and murdering a woman veterinarian in Hyderabad and ordered an inquiry into the police encounter. The apex human rights body said the encounter early morning on Friday is a matter of concern.
Bihar should learn from Hyderabad, says Rabri Devi
Girls in Patna cut cakes and shouted slogans in favour of the Hyderabad Police for shooting down the four accused in the rape and murder of a woman. "We salute Hyderabad police and Telangana government...Bihar government too should do justice in rape cases," they said.
The same was echoed by RJD leaders too. Former CM Rabri Devi said, "Bihar police have to take lesson from Hyderabad police... before being a politician, I'm mother as well."
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said: "Now I would like to know what the Bihar police is doing in Muzaffarpur shelter home rape cases, Buxar and Samastipur rape cases.. .this government patronises rapists."
However, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi felt the accused should have been arrested. "If the accused persons had been arrested, it would have been better... I would not like to make any comment in which situation police had to encounter them... but, the accused persons had to be re-arrested, if they were fleeing from the spot". - Amarnath Tewary
Worrisome that people have lost faith in justice system: Kejriwal
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said while the people of the country are rejoicing the encounter deaths of the four accused in the gang rape and murder case of the Hyderabad veterinarian, it is also worrisome that they have lost faith in the justice system.
“The rape cases that have come to light of late, people are in anger whether it is Unnao or Hyderabad, so people are expressing happiness over the encounter.
“It is also something to be worried about, the way people have lost their faith in the criminal justice system. Together all the governments will have to take action on how to strengthen criminal justice system,” he told reporters in New Delhi. - PTI
FIR should be registered against the police: Kavita Srivastava
Calling the encounter "pure murder with impunity", PUCL-Rajasthan head and civil activist Kavita Srivastava sought an FIR be registered against the policemen who killed the four accused in the Hyderabad doctor rape and murder case. "A judicial inquiry is the immediate need. The killing means that those arrested with memo and with remand from the court are unsafe in the hands of the police, leave alone those detained illegally," she added.
"Please do not glorify these policemen. It is a lynching for a blood-baying public to glorify the murder, making a spectacle of them. Police taking law into their own hands is worse than private actors being violative and brutal." Ms. Srivastava said.
"We are moving to uncivilised dark ages. The morning is telling us of the bloodier times that are going to come. Do not celebrate. The killing of the four accused by Hyderabad Police will not stop or even make a dent into the aggressive, violative, galloping and an all-pervasive rape culture," she said. - Mohammad Iqbal
UP Police should take inspiration: Mayawati
BSP president Mayawati praised the Hyderabad Police for its strong action against the accused in the gang rape and murder of a 25-year-old veterinarian and asked the Uttar Pradesh Police to take inspiration from them.
“The action that has been taken by the Hyderabad Police is praiseworthy,” Ms. Mayawati said.
“In UP, this is happening every day not just in one district but in every district. Be it young girls or aged women, nobody is being spared. There is jungle raj in UP,” she said, adding that when she was chief minister she had acted even against members of her own party.
The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister asked the State police to take inspiration from Hyderabad police and take strict action against culprits in such cases. “Uttar Pradesh and Delhi police will have to change,” she added. - PTI
Nirbhaya's father welcomes the 'encounter' killing
The father of Nirbhaya, the 23-year-old paramedic student who died days after being gangraped in Delhi in December 2012, welcomed the news of the death of the accused in the Hyderabad gangrape-and-murder case in a police encounter on Friday and said the family’s wait for justice ended early.
Had the police not acted promptly and shot the accused, they would have fled and might not have been caught again, he said.
“It is good that the police showed prompt response and acted. Otherwise the accused would have fled and it would have been difficult to catch them. The escape would also have raised questions on the efficiency of the police,” he told PTI over phone.
The father of the paramedic student, who was brutally gangraped inside a moving bus in the national capital on December 16, 2012, said they had been waiting for justice for seven years now.
“The family of the Hyderabad doctor will not have to wait for seven years for justice like us. We can understand the pain of her parents. At least, they got justice early,” he said.
The mother of Nirbhaya appealed to the authorities not to punish the policemen involved in the encounter.
Agree in principle, but extra-judicial killings unacceptable: Shashi Tharoor
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor sounded a word of caution, saying extra-judicial killings were not acceptable.
“Agree in principle. We need to know more, for instance if the criminals were armed, the police may have been justified in opening fire preemptively. Until details emerge we should not rush to condemn. But extra-judicial killings are otherwise unacceptable in a society of laws,” the former Union Minister said in a tweet.
National Commission for Women (NCW) chief Rekha Sharma said she was happy that the accused in the Hyderabad gangrape-and-murder case were dead, but added that justice should have been done through proper legal channels.
Advocate Meera Bhatia, who is an amicus curiae in an ongoing case initiated by the Delhi High Court on women safety after the December 16 gang rape case, said that encounters are meant to catch and not kill.
"There are guidelines that these policemen have to follow. Otherwise they will kill each time an encounter takes place," Ms Bhatia said.
"Also, we don't know yet as to who actually committed the crime (Hyderabad rape and murder)," she remarked.
Justice done, says Hyderabad victim’s family
“It’s perfect justice for my slain daughter,” is how the father of the 27-year-old veterinary doctor reacted after news of the gunning down of four accused in the rape and murder case broke out on Friday morning.
“The killing of the four at the spot close to where my daughter was burnt is the right justice,” the father told reporters at his residence on the city outskirts . He said what the police did was right and it would deter others from indulging in such activities. The mother too hailed the police for speedy justice.
The younger sister of the victim said they hoped that the accused would get capital punishment but never expected that they would be killed in an encounter. “This is a wake-up call and warning to all such people who violate women,” she remarked.
There must be accountability for the police: Vrinda Grover
Lawyer Vrinda Grover said that the alleged encounter killing of the four accused at Hyderabad is "absolutely unacceptable," adding that there must be accountability for the police.
"Say no to trigger-track injustice! This is absolutely unacceptable. So all that the State will do in the name of ensuring that women live as equal and free citizens is to add to its arsenal of unlimited arbitrary violence! There must be an FIR registered against the police and an investigation; and an independent judicial enquiry into this "encounter." There must be accountability of the police," she said.
"No police 'encounter' in the name of women," she said.
Delhi-based lawyer Rebecca John took to social media to question the 'trigger justice' system.
"Did we even have enough evidence to suggest they [the accused] committed the crime? Had any court seen that evidence? Had any court pronounced guilt? And even assuming they had committed the crime, there is a process to be followed," she wrote on Facebook.
Her Facebook post reads as follows:
"How easily we celebrate mob justice. A police force that no one ever trusts, kills four unarmed men in the dead of the night. Why? Because they didn't matter. Unlikely that the Delhi police would have done this to men with connections who lived in [elite colonies of] Jor Bagh or Maharani Bagh. Did we even have enough evidence to suggest they committed the crime? Had any court seen that evidence? Had any court pronounced guilt? And even assuming they had committed the crime, there is a process to be followed. If that is abdicated, you could be next.
All you legislators, political parties and sundry activists who set the tone for trigger justice... you have now got it. Mission accomplished.
You never cared. Because if you did, there would not have been such a brazen attack on a woman complainant yesterday in Unnao. Support to rape survivors is a long and arduous process. You have never met them, never talked to any one of them. You have no idea what they face or what they want."