New Delhi [India], Dec 6 (ANI): The killing of all the four accused in the rape and murder of a woman veterinarian in an encounter with police in Telangana has drawn mixed response from across the nation.
According to the police, all the four men were being taken to the crime spot to reconstruct the sequence of events after which the charred body of the doctor was found near Hyderabad last week.
"The accused snatched weapon and fired on Police. In self defence the police fired back, in which the accused were killed," DCP Shamshabad Prakash Reddy said.
After the news of the shoot-out poured in, locals started gathering near the spot and raised slogans hailing police, like 'DCP Zindabad, ACP Zindabad'. They even showered rose petals on police personnel at the encounter site.
Meanwhile, neigbours of the woman veterinarian also celebrated by bursting firecrackers, offering sweets to cops and tying Rakhis to them.
Security has been tightened at the site of encounter.
Speaking to ANI, the victim's father said, "It has been 10 days since my daughter died. I express my gratitude towards the police and government for this. My daughter's soul must be at peace now."Asha Devi, whose daughter Nirbhaya was gangraped and left to die on road in December 2012, said Telangana police "did a great job".
"I am extremely happy with this punishment. Police have done a great job and I demand that no action should be taken against the police personnel," Asha Devi said.
Chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women, Swati Maliwal, who has been on a hunger strike since Monday against rape incidents in the country, said laws need to be made more stringent.
"What will the police do if rapists try to escape? That is exactly why we are requesting the Centre to create a strong system in the country so that rapists who are committing such heinous crimes need to be given death penalty after all kinds of court procedures," Maliwal said.
BJP lawmaker Locket Chatterjee lauded Telangana Police and said that such operations should be made 'legal'.
"This is a very good step taken for our country, I felt really good when I read this news in the morning. The soul of the rape victim must be at peace now. Her family must be at peace. Such encounters should be made legal," Chatterjee told ANI.
"If something of this sort happens then the culprits should be hanged to death or killed in an encounter within seven to fifteen days. I thank Hyderabad Police for the encounter carried today," she added.
BSP chief and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati also commended Telangana Police and said police in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi can take inspiration from them.
"Police in Uttar Pradesh and also in Delhi should take inspiration from Hyderabad Police, but unfortunately here criminals are treated like state guests, there is jungle raj in Uttar Pradesh right now. Hope the attitude changes for the better. Crimes against women are on the rise in Uttar Pradesh, but the state government is sleeping," she said.
BJP leader Uma Bharti called this the "biggest incident in the 19th year of this century that will guarantee women's safety."Shuttler Saina Nehwal and wrestler Babita Phogat have also lauded the Telangana Police over the encounter.
On the other hand, National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Rekha Sharma said the NCW always wanted speedy justice and death penalty through a legal system for the four accused in the rape and murder of a woman veterinarian in Telangana.
"As a common citizen, I am feeling happy that this was the end we all wanted for them. But this end was supposed to be through the legal system. It should have happened through proper channels," said Sharma.
"We always demanded the death penalty for the accused and speedy justice as well, but the accused people were killed in an encounter. So, police are the best judge to know in what circumstances was the encounter carried out," she added.
Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan, who had earlier advocated public lynching of rapists, commented, "der aaye durust aaye (better late than never)".
Shuttler Jwala Gutta questioned whether this action will stop people from committing such a heinous crime.
"Will this stop the future rapists?? And an important question: will every rapist be treated the same way...irrespective of their social standing," Jwala tweeted.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that all governments should take action on how to strengthen the criminal justice system and added that it is a matter of concern if people have lost faith in the criminal justice system.
"The rape cases that have come to light of late, people are in anger whether it is Unnao or Hyderabad, so people are expressing happiness over the encounter," Kejriwal said.
"It is also something to be worried about, the way people have lost their faith in the criminal justice system. Together all the governments will have to take action on how to strengthen the criminal justice system," he added.
BJP MP Maneka Gandhi slammed the Telangana Police for killing all the four accused in the rape and murder of the woman veterinarian in an encounter and said that the police cannot take the law in their own hands.
"What has happened is very horrific for the country. You can't take law in your hands, they (accused) would have been hanged by Court anyhow. If you're going to shoot them before the due process of law has been followed, then what's the point of having courts, law and police?" Gandhi said.
Haryana Congress President Kumari Selja said that every citizen should have faith that such culprits will meet an end but through a proper judicial process.
"The issue here is that this is the end that should meet these kinds of culprits who have perpetrated this kind of crime. The other issue is also there that every citizen should have faith in the judicial system that these kinds of culprits will meet such an end but through a proper judicial process," said Selja.
"Swift action needs to be taken in every case and this end should be met through a proper judicial process," she added.
Telangana Police said that the veterinarian was brutally raped and killed by the accused who burned her body in Shamshabad area on November 27. Her charred body was recovered on November 28. (ANI)