Hyderabad: Cops submit varying versions on CCTV footage in ‘encounter' case of four accused in rape and murder of veterinarian

In the encounter case too, the Investigating Officer told the inquiry commission that cameras at the Shadnagar police station were not working.
Image used for representational purposes (Photo | Express Illustrations)
Image used for representational purposes (Photo | Express Illustrations)

HYDERABAD: Police have submitted contradictory versions about CCTV footage regarding the ‘encounter’ killing of the four accused in the rape and murder of a veterinarian, one before the High Court and another to the Supreme Court-appointed commission. A similar pattern was repeated by the police following the custodial death of an SC woman, A Mariyamma, at Addagudur police station on June 18, 2021. In this case, police told the High Court in July, 2021 that CCTVs had not been installed at the police station. In August, the police came up with a fresh version. They told the HC that while the police station did have cameras, they were not functional at the time of the incident.

In the encounter case too, the Investigating Officer told the inquiry commission that cameras at the Shadnagar police station were not working. Meanwhile, the police department informed the commission that no cameras were not available at its police station.

In Mariyamma’s death case, police told the High Court that cameras were not installed when it asked them to submit CCTV footage to prove their innocence. During the next hearing in August 2021, police informed the High Court that the cameras at the police station were not working from May 27 to June 25. 
Police informed the High Court that cameras were installed in all 18 police stations of Bhongir zone by September, 2020. In Addagudur police station, the cameras had a back-up facility for 20 days, but they stopped functioning from May 27 due to cable damage. These were repaired and resumed working from June 25, they informed the HC. 

Further, in the ‘encounter’ case too, the Investigation Officer (IO) J Surender Reddy, Additional DCP Rachakonda, during the examination, informed the inquiry commission that when he had asked the SHO Shadnagar to provide CCTV footage of the police station, the latter had ‘orally’ informed the IO that cameras were not functioning from November 29, 2019 to December 10, 2019. The IO said he had not recorded the SHO’s statement in the case diary or any other documents submitted to the Commission.
However, the Additional Director ( Law & Order), in a letter submitted to the commission on March 13, 2020, stated that CC cameras were not available at Shadnagar police station.

Death of SC woman
The police, in July, informed the HC that cameras were not installed at the police station, but later said CCTVs weren’t working from May 27 to June 25

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