Police allegations are artificial and unbelievable: SC Commission report

The Supreme Court-appointed Justice Sirpurkar Commission to inquire into the alleged encounter killing of four accused in the gangrape and murder case of veterinary doctor Disha on December 6, 2019, in their ‘sealed cover’ report submitted to the Apex court stated that the allegations that accused snatched pistols from policemen and fired at them was ‘artificial’ and ‘unbelievable’.

It said there was no material evidence from the police to indicate that the deceased suspects – Mohammed Arif and Ch. Chennakeshavulu – who allegedly snatched two pistols from police were familiar with the operation of firearms. “On the directions of the commission, former ACP of Shadnagar division brought a pistol to the commission premises during the hearing and demonstrated the operation of the same. The process is complicated enough that a person unfamiliar with the use of firearms would not be able to operate the pistol easily and especially the operation of firearms would not be possible in the circumstances in which the deceased allegedly used them,” the report read.

It may be recalled that on the intervening night of November 27-28, 2019, a 27-year-old veterinary doctor was allegedly whisked away by the suspects, who raped her near Shamshabad and later took her to Chattanpally near Shadnagar in Rangareddy district, 50 km from the city, in a lorry and burnt her alive on an underpass on NH-44. The suspects were arrested on November 29, 2019 and remanded in judicial custody. In the wee hours of December 6, the four accused were taken to Chattanpally for collection of evidence and reconstruction of the crime scene. After reaching Chattanpally they allegedly snatched the firearms after throwing soil on the policemen and escaped from the clutches. Minutes later they died in an exchange of fire.

They also mentioned the specifications and operations of the pistols, the position of the safety switch, and even a ballistics expert’s statement which stated ‘it is not possible for an untrained person to identify the safety switch and thereafter fire the weapon.’ It is also not conceivable that within a short span of time, as alleged by the police, the deceased suspects snatched the weapons, cocked the pistol and used it to fire, it read.

“For all these reasons, it has to be held that the deceased suspects could not have fired those pistols and in fact did not fire the pistols.”

Moreover, once they escaped and started running, it would be highly improbable that they would fire at the police party while running. “They would either run away or start and fire at the police party. As discussed above it is not possible for the deceased suspects to have operated the firearms. Even if they could operate the firearms, their aim would only be to escape. They would not stand and enter into an exchange of fire with the police. Therefore, it has to be held that the deceased suspects could not have fired and run away simultaneously,” the report read.

It further stated that a version was sought to be projected that Jollu Naveen and Jollu Shiva might have died from the indiscriminate firing by Arif and Chennakeshavulu. “This version is made untenable. The forensic reports show that the injuries were caused by ‘high-velocity copper jacketed rounds’ and the evidence of ballistics expert show that the bullets of 9MM pistols allegedly snatched by the deceased suspects are not ‘high-velocity bullets whereas the bullets of AK-47 and two SLRs wielded by the police party are ‘high-velocity' bullets,” the committee members said in their 383-page report.

It stated that all the suspects died due to the injuries caused by the bullets fired by the police party and it cannot be believed that they (suspects) opened fire on the police party. After considering the entire material on record, the members conclude that the four accused had not committed any offences like snatching the weapons, attempting to escape from the custody, assaulting and firing at the police party. It even said that they suspected they were deliberately fired upon with an intent to cause their death and with the knowledge that the firing would invariably result in their death.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 4:51:07 pm |