The human rights body said the encounter was a matter of concern and needed to be probed carefully.
New Delhi: Taking cognisance of the encounter deaths of the four accused in the Hyderabad gangrape-murder case, the National Human Rights Commission on Friday ordered an inquiry into the incident. The human rights body said the encounter was a matter of concern and needed to be probed carefully.
The NHRC has asked its director-general (investigation) to immediately send a team for a fact-finding, on-the-spot investigation. A team from the NHRC investigation division, headed by a senior superintendent of police, is expected to submit its report at the earliest.
The commission said the incident clearly indicated that the police personnel were not “properly alert” and “prepared for any untoward activity by the accused on the spot”, which led to the death of all four. Pointing out that the deceased were arrested by the police during investigations and a judgment was yet to be pronounced, the rights body said if the arrested persons were actually guilty, they must be punished in accordance with the law.
The NHRC had earlier said there was an absence of a “standard operating procedure” for the police to immediately respond to panic situations. It said: “The commission has been insisting upon all law-enforcing agencies to keep the human rights angle in their view while dealing with persons arrested by them or kept in their custody... The right to life and equality before the law are the basic human rights recognised and granted by the Constitution of India.”
Acknowledging that growing incidents of sexual assault and violence against women had created an atmosphere of fear and anger among the public, the NHRC said the loss of human lives, even of those arrested by the police, would definitely give a wrong message to society.
The NHRC said it had already taken cognisance of the increasing cases of rape and sexual assault on women across the country and sought a detailed report from all state governments and police chiefs as well as from the ministry of women and child development. It said that a number of such cases, including the one in Hyderabad, had forced the commission to intervene in the matter.