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2019 Hyderabad encounter: Clues team have no information on method to collect gunshot residue

He, along with his team, had assisted the police teams in collecting clues and physical evidence from the spot, where the four accused were killed.

Published: 05th October 2021 10:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th October 2021 10:35 AM   |  A+A-

Police personnel at the Hyderabad encounter scene.

Police personnel at the Hyderabad encounter scene. (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: N Venkanna, Assistant Director, Clues team, Hyderabad City Police, deposed before the three-member commission formed by the Supreme Court to probe the death of the four accused in the rape and murder case of a veterinarian at Shadnagar in 2019, in an 'encounter'.

He, along with his team, had assisted the police teams in collecting clues and physical evidence from the spot, where the four accused were killed. Venkanna also said, "I do not have any information regarding this", when asked how without knowing the number of bullets fired by the police, he had decided that the empties were located in the area, and, if he had tried "to find out from the Investigating Officer about the number of bullets which were fired".

He replied that he had no idea of the NHRC guidelines mandating that only 'hand wash' method of collecting Gunshot residue (GSR) is permissible and the Forensic Guide for Crime Investigators published by the National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Medicine (NICFS) for the Union Home Ministry (MHA), stated that the 'cotton bud' method is the least preferred method of collecting GSR.

He also stated that he was aware of the NICFS guidelines mandating multiple swabs from each hand of the person alleged to have used the firearm, to be collected for GSR detection, but clarified, "collection of GSRs is the responsibility of PME doctors, but at the instance, we took the GSR, because quantity depletes with passage of time".

When questioned, why he had collected GSR, if it was not his duty, he said, "To identify GSR is also part of his duty", and pointed to the Andhra Pradesh Police Manual (APPM) to support the same.

Referring to the APPM, when the commission pointed to him that his duty as part of the Clues team was to collect physical evidence, preserve it properly and after proper packing, hand it over to the Investigating Officer so that it could be sent to the FSL, he said that he has "abdicated" his basic duty under APPM orders and said that his team had extended all possible help to the Investigation Officer.

He said that his team could not draw the sketch of the scene at the spot and had prepared a computer generated sketch, as a huge crowd had gathered at the spot and prevented them from doing their duty.

"Although the scene was cordoned, there were too many people rushing towards the protected area, which made it difficult for us to draw a sketch. The computer sketch was made based on the latitude and longitude of the spot, clicked on their mobile phones on the day of the incident, but the details were not saved, as a part of the investigation," he told the commission.

'COLLECTION OF GSR IS RESPONSIBILITY OF PME DOC'

N Venkanna, Assistant Director, Clues team, stated that he had no idea of the NHRC guidelines mandating that only 'hand wash' method of collecting GSR is permissible and the Forensic Guide for Crime Investigators, published by the NICFS, stated that the 'cotton bud' method is the least preferred one.

He said was aware of the NICFS guidelines mandating multiple swabs from each hand of the person alleged to have used the firearm, to be collected for GSR detection, but clarified, "collection of GSR is the responsibility of PME doctors, but we took the GSR, because quantity depletes with time".

When questioned, why he had collected GSR, if it was not his duty, he said, "To identify GSR is also part of his duty," and pointed to APPM) to support the same.



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