The Telangana high court stayed the funeral of the four accused killed in an alleged encounter by the Hyderabad police on Friday morning and ordered the bodies be preserved till Monday evening, the day it will hear a public interest litigation questioning the legality of the encounter in detail.
The HC also ordered that the postmortem of the killed men is videographed and submitted to the court by Saturday evening.
The bodies of the four accused were supposed to be buried by 10 pm after the autopsy was completed at 8:30 pm on Friday. It was not clear immediately if the autopsy was done in line with the court’s order or if it will be repeated.
The HC was responding to the petition signed by 15 women and human rights activists who allege the encouter of Mohammad Ali, Jollu Shiva, Jollu Naveen Kumar and Chintakunta Chenna Keshavulu– all accused of raping and killing a Hyderabad veterinarian last week– were carried out in violation of the Supreme Court guidelines.
The 26-year old veterinarian was gang raped and killed and her body burnt on the night of November 27 just outside Hyderabad city after her scooty broke down while she was returning from work. The incident led to nationwide outrage and demands for exemplary punishment for the accused, who were nabbed two days later on Friday.
Hyderabad police said they shot the accused on Friday morning at the crime spot, where they had been taken for recreation of events and recovery of evidence, after they snatched cop’s weapons and attempted to escape.
Their encounter was widely celebrated across the country but also led to several human rights organisations raising questions.