DCP remains evasive to SC panel on Disha accused encounter

N. Prakash Reddy  

I don’t know. No. I’m not aware. I’m not in a position to answer. I don’t remember as it’s been almost two years. These were some of the stock replies given by Cyberabad’s Deputy Commissioner of Police (Shamshabad zone) Nyalakonda Prakash Reddy to the several questions posed by the Supreme Court-constituted three-member commission to inquire into the alleged encounter killings of the four accused in the rape and murder of Disha by Telangana police in December 2019.

Mr. Reddy, who appeared before the commission once again on Wednesday, was questioned on the parameters for the selection of team in handling the crowd, selection of ‘safe house’ for questioning the alleged accused, the role of Additional DCsP, Special Branch and Special Operations Team, ages of the victims, his briefing about the case and suggesting to the then Cyberabad Commission of Police V.C. Sajjanar to brief the media and why the alleged accused were not produced before the Judicial Magistrate while praying for police custody.

On Wednesday too, they told Mr. Reddy that he was trying to run away from the questions. Further, the members asked the officer to clarify the inconsistencies in the timings stated by him in his answers (while explaining the sequence of events) and suggested ‘Do not rush to the answers. We advise you to go through the questions and then answer.’

The officer maintained that he was not aware of the ages of the accused when they were arrested and the then ACP Shadnagar V. Surender had briefed him. When asked if he briefed the CP at the time of the press conference on December 6, 2019, that the firearms of the police officers escorting the accused to the reconstruction of the crime scene were ‘unlocked’ (safety catch: a first position wherein the bolt and the firing pin are unlocked), the DCP requested the panel to elaborate the word ‘Unlock’, as it has different meanings for different firearms.

For which, the commission member, a former director of the CBI and retired IPS officer D.R. Karthikeyan commented, “the word unlock is commonly used and understood by everybody. Unlock means ready to fire.”

Mr. Reddy answered: SHO Shadnagar had informed me about the weapons and accordingly I told him (Mr. Sajjanar).

Further, the panel members asked the officer on whose idea Mr. Sajjanar held the press conferences to reveal the details of the case. Mr. Reddy said as several media personnel, including the correspondent of this newspaper, were continuously requesting him to give updates on the case, he requested the CP to hold the press conferences.

Then the commission questioned if he was aware of the observations of the Supreme Court on discouraging media briefings in the ongoing investigation of the offence. “Yes”, the officer replied. Mr. Reddy maintained that Mr. Sajjanar’s statement on DNA profiling of the victim and the accused, and recovery of material objects from the scene of offence were ‘erroneously’ mentioned during the press conference on December 6, 2019.

“In my opinion, showing the photos of the accused with faces masked would not offend the dignity of the accused,” Mr. Reddy said when asked if showing the photos of the accused would affect the dignity of the latter.

Later, the 2010-batch IPS officer had clarified that he had never associated himself with the supervision of investigation of the alleged encounter case.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 8:05:42 PM |

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