Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar on the morning of Friday, 6 December, confirmed the killing by encounter of the four accused in the rape and murder of a Hyderabad veterinary doctor.
The accused, the commissioner said, were killed in the wee hours of the morning between 3 am and 6 am, when they were taken to the scene of the crime for inspection.
While the action of the police has received a lot of salutation on social media, many have also questioned the legitimacy of killing undertrials in such a manner. However, such encounters are not a first for Sajjanar, who is a specialist having handled many such cases.
Warangal Acid Attackers’ Encounter, 2008
The end met by the rapists, are eerily similar to that met by three men accused of an acid attack in Telangana’s (then Andhra Pradesh’s) Warangal.
In December 2008, three men were arrested for attacking two college girls of Warangal’s Kakatiya Institute of Technology, Swapnika and Pranitha, with acid. While Pranitha was critical after the attack, Swapnika succumed to her injuries. The trio allegedly attacked the two girls because Swapnika refused advances from one of them.
At the time too, people across Andhra and Telangana were demanding swift justice.
Sajjanar was then the Superintendent of Police in Warangal. Just like the Hyderabad rape and murder, in this case, too, the accused were arrested within 48 hours.
Just a few hours after the arrest, the accused were taken to the scene of the crime, much like now, for investigative purposes. At the time, the police said they tried to attack the police with country-made weapons and acid that they’d hidden at the spot. The three were killed when police opened fire in self-defence.
Sajjanar had then become a “hero” in Warangal, which was seething with rage after the acid attack, reports The Deccan Chronicle. This redeemed the police, which had been receiving flack for not acting on a complaint that Swapnika’s family had tried to file against her harasser, Srinivas, three weeks before the attack.
In an interview with The Huffington Post India, two days before the encounter of the Hyderabad rape accused, Pranitha, one of the victims in the Warangal case said that ‘encounter of the perpetrators did not serve justice’.
While thanking the police for helping her after the attack, she said she still hasn’t come to terms with the ‘killing’. She also said that preventing assaults was a better way to ensure justice for women.
Also Read: Justice done, says Hyderabad victim's family
Maoist Encounter, 2009
The fanfare was a contrast to Sajjanar’s ‘silent operator’ personality.
After the Warangal encounter, his involvement in leading many encounter operations, especially against Maoists in the state, earned him the moniker “encounter cop”.
In May 2009, when Sajjanar was posted as District Superintendent in Warangal, one of Andhra’s then top Maoist leaders P Sudhadkar Reddy was killed by the police in an encounter along with one of his colleagues.
Reddy was allegedly involved in a life attempt on former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu in 2003 and the assassination of former Andhra Pradesh Home Minister A Madhava Reddy in 2000.
Sajjanar is a 1996-batch IPS officer, born in Hubli, Karnataka. He began his career as the Deputy Superintendent of Police in Pulivinder, Andhra Pradesh. His family describes him as a “soft-spoken” and “disciplined” man who was into “activism” since his college days.
“He had an activist’s life and was the General Secretary of his college. He is a sincere and dedicated officer and he has performed his duty. We feel proud that a Hubli boy has done this act”, said his brother, Dr NC Sajjanar.
(With inputs from Deccan Chronicle and Huffington Post India)
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