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Disha probe panel dishes out the heat 

IO Surender Reddy cross-examined by judicial commission on key points of ‘encounter’ that took place on December 6, 2019

Published: 28th August 2021 07:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th August 2021 07:17 AM   |  A+A-

Lawyers display a placard to condemn the gang-rape and murder of a Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh. (Photo| AFP)

Representational Image. (File | AFP)

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The three-member judicial commission formed by the Supreme Court to probe the death of the four accused in an “encounter” with police on December 6, 2019, examined the Investigation officer (IO) J Surender Reddy, Additional DCP, Rachakonda, who was appointed to probe the incident. The commission’s counsel during the cross-examination, posed questions based on statements recorded during the investigation and records submitted to the commission.

What was the distance?

During Friday’s examination, the IO was questioned on the sketch of the incident. The counsel asked him about the distance between the police party and the accused persons, to which he replied it was around 26 feet to 45 feet. When asked how he had come to the conclusion about the distance, he told the commission that they had assessed it during the investigation.

Why were police not injured?

Surender Reddy further stated that the accused had snatched weapons from the police, started running and also fired at the police party. Since the police party took cover behind a two-and-a-half-feet high embankment, none of them received any bullet injuries, he said.

Was there a crime reconstruction?

He also added that after the arrest of the accused in connection with the rape and murder of a veterinarian at Shadnagar, police recorded their confessional statements. Material belonging to the victim was concealed in the ground near the place where her body was found. The four accused could not be taken to the spot for crime reconstruction though there was time because there was the threat of a mob attack. 

Why were accused taken to prison at night?

The commission asked Surender Reddy if the prison rules permit police to hand over the accused after lock-up hours and how the accused were handed over to prison late in the night.  When he replied that the query pertains to the prison department, the commission said that being the IO, he too has to know the rules. 

Did IO visit the safe house? 

The commission also asked Surender Reddy to explain the details of the safe house where the accused were lodged during police custody. Surender Reddy was asked if he had visited the place and whom he had examined at the safe house. The commission also pointed to the delay by the IO in replying to the queries. “Despite taking a long time, the witness has been unable to answer the questions,” the commission observed.



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