New Delhi: Amid growing concern over extra-judicial killings on Friday morning by the Telengana police of the four accused in the gruesome gangrape-murder of a 25-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) has sought an immediate autopsy of the dead bodies by a team of surgeons from outside Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Noting that while the NHRC has directed its investigation team, which comprises only of police officials, to do an on-spot examination, the petition by senior lawyer and advisor to CHRI, Maja Daruwala and Henri Tiphagne Executive Director of People’s Watch, has sought, among other things, that NHRC should pass a direction for the bodies of all the four deceased “to be preserved and immediately autopsy conducted by a special team of autopsy surgeons preferably, from New Delhi, or from states other than Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.”
“This holds extreme significance in the absence of any independent eye-witness in this case,” said a statement released by CHRI.
Requesting the NHRC to immediately monitor to ensure that the Supreme Court guidelines in the PUCL vs Union of India were followed, the petition says: “It is clear that all the four accused/suspects were in police custody, thus completely unarmed, and in all probabilities handcuffed.”
It further added that the reported recreation of the events at the crime scene at 3 a.m in the morning raises “further serious concerns into these extra-judicial killings.”
Citing media reports that over 50 police personnel were present during the “recreation of the events”, the petition said it failed to comprehend how 50 policemen failed to “catch hold of 4 unarmed accused/suspects” is beyond any logical comprehension.
Seeking urgent intervention BY NHRC, the petition urged it to:
• Immediately direct the Director General of Police of Telangana to pass orders to preserve the bodies of the four accused/suspects who were killed this early morning (December 6, 2019)
• Immediately direct formation of a special team of autopsy surgeons preferably from New Delhi or from states other than Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, to undertake an independent video-graphing of the post-mortem.
• Immediately direct formation of a special team of forensic experts preferably from New Delhi or from states other than Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, to undertake an independent examination.
• Immediately direct the NHRC’s Investigation Team led by its senior most officer to examine the following the FIRs registered in the General/Daily Diary register entry of the relevant police station, of the day of the incident, the wireless log book record of the relevant police station (or district police wireless HQ, where such log is maintained) of the day of incident, Log book records of the day, of government vehicles used by all police officers engaged in the said encounter, and Call Details Records (CDR) of mobile phones used by the all police officers engaged in the encounter (date range; one week prior to date of encounter).