HYDERABAD: Police investigating the death of the four accused in the rape and murder of a veterinarian in an alleged encounter didn’t collect CCTV footage at any point. During the investigation, when the Investigation Officer (IO), J Surender Reddy had asked the SHO Shadnagar Police station to provide CCTV footage, the SHO had orally informed him that the cameras at the police station were not working. However, the police department in their records submitted to the Inquiry Commission informed that there were no cameras at Shadnagar police station. The Commission’s counsel pointed to these contradictory statements.
Pursuant to his notice to produce the CCTV footage, the SHO Shadnagar had informed that the cameras at the police station were not functioning from November 29, 2019 to December 10, 2019. When he said that he did not record this statement in writing, the Commission asked, “Was it not an extraordinary situation, and you still did not ask him to give it in writing?”
During the examination, a rental agreement was made with the owner of a guest house, which was used as a safe house to interrogate the accused while in police custody. The agreement clearly mentioned that the guest house should have CCTV surveillance, however, there were no CCTV cameras at the guest house. When asked why this was not followed, the IO stated that he felt CCTVs were not required, since there were several eyewitnesses and other evidence.
The IO also stated that he did not collect CCTV footages either at Shadnagar police station, or at the prison where the accused were lodged during the judicial remand period, or while bringing them out of prison and shifting them to a safe house, or en route from the safe house to the place of incident at Chatanpally village near Shadnagar.