Hours after the Hyderabad encounter on Friday, a few lawmakers called for caution, saying the turn of events was disturbing.
All four accused in the rape and murder of a 27-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad were killed by the Cyberabad police in an encounter on Friday morning.
BJP leader Maneka Gandhi said the encounter set a “horrifying” precedent for the country.
“Jo bhi hua hai bohot bhayanak hua hai is desh ke liye (What happened was horrifying for the country)... You cannot kill people because you want to. You cannot take law in your hands, they (accused) would have been hanged by court anyhow,” the former union women and child development minister told reporters in Parliament complex.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor echoed this, saying, “extra-judicial killings are otherwise unacceptable in a society of laws.” He, however, cautioned people to wait for full details of the encounter to emerge.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that people’s happiness over the encounter was worrying.
“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 said, ANI quoted.
The men had been in police custody and were shot near the scene of last week’s crime, N Prakash Reddy, deputy commissioner of police in Shamshabad, told Reuters.
No details were immediately available about how many police personnel had escorted the four accused and whether they were handcuffed or roped together as is usually the case, the Reuters report said.
Reddy said, “In the morning, at around 6-6.30, our persons have come to reconstruct the scene of crime and the accused have tried to snatch their weapons, and there was a cross-fire. In this, all the four accused have died. Two policemen have been injured.”
However, Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar said the encounter took place between 3 and 6 am.
Sajjanar, who is in charge of investigating the veterinarian’s case, had led the investigation into the 2008 Warangal acid attack case, in which the three accused were also killed in an encounter.
National Commission for Women chief Rekha Sharma said she supported death penalty in rape cases but through the judicial channel. “I do not know under what circumstances they (the accused in Hyderabad case) were shot and this has to come out after the inquiry. So only the police can tell the truth or after the inquiry it would come out.”
(With inputs from PTI)