Sweets distributed to hail police killing of arrested youths

December 13th, 2008 - 7:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Dec 13 (IANS) The police killing of three young men arrested for throwing acid on two girls has been welcomed by many including women’s groups as a case of “instant justice”. Others have dubbed it murder.Some people distributed sweets and burst crackers to express their joy over the killing Friday night of the three involved in the acid attack on two female engineering students in Warangal town.

S. Srinivas, a spurned lover, and his two associates were shot dead by the police when they tried to allegedly attack the policemen engaged in collecting evidence against them.

The Dec 10 acid attack on the women students sent shock waves across the state. The killing of the three youths has now created a storm.

Srinivas and his two associates threw acid on Swapnika, a girl with whom he was in love, and her friend Pranhita when they were returning home from college.

Swapnika sustained serious injuries and is battling for life in a hospital here while her friend escaped with minor injuries.

Reacting to the encounter killings, the victims’ families said the “criminals got the punishment for their crime”. “This is what the people wanted,” Swapnika’s father Devender said.

Interestingly, Srinivas’ father Singa Rao also supported the police action.

Singa Rao, who along with his wife went into hiding after the Dec 10 incident, told a television channel over telephone from an undisclosed location that their son had paid for his crime.

Regretting that they had given birth to such a son, Rao said he would not claim the body and demanded that the police perform the last rites as they would of an unclaimed body.

However, the families of the two other youths, Harikrishna and Sanjay, alleged that the police killed them in cold blood. They said they would not take the bodies unless the police clarify why they shot dead the youths.

They were not ready to buy the police claim that the youths had attacked them.

Women’s groups and student bodies expressed happiness over the “punishment” meted out to the three accused.

A few women distributed sweets outside a private hospital where Swapnika is undergoing treatment. Activists of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and some students burst firecrackers.

Girl students supported the police action and said the killings were in line with their demand to publicly hang the guilty.

“This is a right thing done by police. It is a lesson to those committing crimes against women,” said a student in Warangal.

“I think this is a lesser punishment. The guilty should have been tortured so that they can feel the pain suffered by the two girls of the acid attack,” said another student.

Minister for Major Industries P. Lakshmaiah also supported the police action, saying it was in line with the people’s demand.

He felt that lack of a stringent law to deal with such crimes against women students was encouraging criminals.

Human rights groups, however, cautioned the society against supporting such actions by the police.

“A civilised society should never support such actions by police, who have taken law into their own hands. If the police go on killing accused in this manner, then why do we need law and courts,” asked rights activist K. Balagopal of Human Rights Forum.

Rights groups alleged that the police killed the three youths in cold blood.

Balagopal demanded the suspension of Warangal district superintendent of police V.C. Sajjanar and other policemen involved in the killing.

The police have denied the allegations and said they acted well within the law.

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