HYDERABAD: Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat, who is also the head of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by Telangana government to probe the death of the four accused in the rape and murder of a veterinarian at Shadnagar in 2019, in an alleged encounter, deposed before the judicial commission appointed by the Supreme Court to probe into the death of the accused for the second consecutive day. Wanaparthy SP K Aproorva Rao also deposed before the commission on Friday.
Responding to the counsel for the commission, Mahesh Bhagwat said that all the injuries on the bodies of the accused, who were killed in the alleged encounter were only on their vital parts and no injuries were found under the waist.
Referring to Mahesh Bhagwat’s responses based on the statement of V Surender, ACP Shadnagar, who led the police party during the incident of firing, the commission asked him to explain the inconsistencies regarding the directions from V Surender to open fire. “You have pointed from the statement of V Surender that he gave directions, first, to shoot in the direction of the sound and second, not to shoot at the accused but downwards or sidewards to catch the accused without any loss of life.”
Mahesh Bhagwat admitted that there are inconsistencies in the two directions given. He stated that only when the firing was stopped from both sides and on checking the bodies of the accused, it was ascertained that injuries were on the vital parts of the bodies.
Further when the commission asked Bhagwat, “Where on record do we get that V Surender had given two directions in regards [to] the firing,” he stated that the first direction to open fire, i.e., firing into the air as a caution, is mentioned in V Surender’s statement, but he has not given any further directions for firing.
Referring to the statement of J Surender Reddy, Additional DCP, Rachakonda, the Investigation Officer in the alleged encounter case, who said that SHO Shadnagar didn’t reply to the former’s notice to supply CCTV footage of the police station, the commission questioned him, if there was any action against SHO Shadnagar for ‘such serious inaction’, Mahesh Bhagwat replied that the IO did not make any report against him.
Responding to queries, Mahesh Bhagwat also stated that the SIT did not find it necessary to examine the then Cyberabad Police Commissioner and Shamshabad DCP in connection with the incident during the investigation.
Meanwhile, Apporva Rao was examined by the counsel for the commission on the contents in the case diary related to the alleged encounter. The case diary prepared by her stated that one of the police personnel received bleeding injuries during the firing incident. However, when she was pointed to the medical reports which stated that a policeman, which she did not refer to, had received bleeding injuries in the incident, she said it was by mistake.