Who gave orders to open fire, asks SC panel

Shadnagar ex-ACP Vasam Surender at the crime spot at Chantanpally.  

Who gave the orders to the police party to open fire on the four accused in the Disha gang rape and murder case in the early hours of December 6, 2019?

The Supreme Court-appointed Justice Sirpurkar Commission posed this question to the then Shadnagar ACP Vasam Surender who was deposing before the panel on Monday. “After firing started from the other side, I gave caution three times. ‘Longipondi. Longipondi. Paripokandi. (Surrender. Surrender. Don’t run away). Even when it didn’t stop, I gave orders to inspector Lal Madhar to open fire in the air. When the firing continued from the other side, I ordered the officer to fire towards the sound to scare the accused,” Mr. Surender replied.

The Chairman of the commission and Supreme Court retired judge Justice V.S. Sirpurkar asked the officer whether he gave orders to fire on the legs of the accused. For which the officer replied, “No. I only ordered them to fire towards the sound of firing to scare the accused. I gave orders not to shoot the accused. The firing was coming from them and there was danger of the accused being hurt because of their own firing.”

Further, he said that their (accused) firing could have affected them as he had to safeguard the police party and the panchas from indiscriminate firing. The firing of the police party was in squatted position, while movements of the accused was helter skelter. “So, because of that their firing could have hit them or our firing could have. Anything was possible,” Mr. Surender said.

Earlier, the Commission asked the officer about how the accused threw sand in the eyes of the police party, which of the accused snatched the weapons, did anyone or Mr. Surender himself try to catch the accused, where were the sticks, stones, and iron rod used by the accused to attack the police. He was also asked whether the police party stood in row or in circle when the prime accused Mohammed Arif took them to the spot where Disha’s articles were buried, why were they carrying torchlights and asked whether he could draw the sketch showing the locations of the place where Disha’s articles were found and positioning of police party and panchas.

“After throwing stand in our eyes, I heard Arif giving caution ‘Aare Vurakandra’ (hey start running) to his fellow accused and SI Venkateswarlu shouted ‘Sir, Chennakeshavulu na weapon gunjukunnadu (sir, Chennakeshavulu snatched away my weapon),” he said.

When the Commission asked him why didn’t he mention all the facts in his complaint copy and even in the affidavit filed before them, Mr. Surender said that because of his disturbed mental state after the incident, he could not recollect all the details. This was a ‘standard’ reply of Mr. Surender for nearly half-a-dozen questions posed by the commission about ‘missing’ facts in his complaint copy.

“He pretends as if he doesn’t understand English and is testing our patience. He doesn’t know that we have ample proof of it,” the members commented.

Earlier, they told the officer that whoever reads his statement would form an opinion that either he did not understand the question or he was trying to avoid it.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2021 9:46:03 AM |

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