Supreme Court panel calls Disha encounter fake

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In a major development in the investigation of the 2019 Disha encounter case, a Supreme Court-appointed Justice Sirpurkar commission on Friday reported the police encounter of the accused in the gang rape and murder of a woman in Hyderabad was a fake one.

The three-member panel, led by a former judge of the apex court, said three of the four accused, killed in the encounter, were minors.

“In our considered opinion, the accused were deliberately fired upon with an intent to cause their death and with the knowledge that the firing would invariably result in the death of the deceased suspect,” the report said.

“We are of the opinion that at the relevant time, Jolu Shiva, Jolu Naveen, and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu were minors,” it added.

The panel, in its report to the Supreme Court, recommended the trial of accused police officers for murder.

For the unversed, a 26-year-old veterinary doctor was gang-raped and murdered at Shamshabad near Hyderabad in November 2019. As the incident triggered nationwide outrage, the Telangana police came under pressure to deliver punishment without delay based on a fast-track court trial. However, the cops killed them, claiming the accused allegedly snatched guns and attacked the officers.

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