New Delhi, 6 December 2019 (dpa/MIA) – Police in south India have shot dead four men suspected of raping and murdering a young veterinarian when they were trying to escape from custody early on Friday, officials said.
The 27-year-old woman’s rape and murder had triggered shock across the country after her badly-burnt body was found last week near the city of Hyderabad.
The four men, all in their 20s, had been taken to the scene of crime, a local police officer told dpa on condition of anonymity, saying he was not authorized to speak to media.
The police team fired in self-defence after two of the men shot at them, he claimed.
“At the scene of crime, two men attacked the police and tried to snatch weapons while two tried to flee. The police team shot at the men in self-defence,” the police officer said
Quoting senior police officer Prakash Reddy, Broadcaster NDTV reported that the men were killed in “cross-fire” and succumbed to their injuries before any medical help could arrive.
The killings have drawn mixed reactions across India. The victim’s family said justice had been done, and locals set off firecrackers and took to streets to praise the police.
However, politicians and legal experts have expressed concerns that it may have been staged, saying that if it was an extra-judicial killing it would set a dangerous precedent.
The remains of the woman were discovered in an underpass near Hyderabad last Friday, two days after she disappeared.
Thousands had protested in Indian cities calling for a swift probe, and, in parliament, Indian lawmakers demanded strict action against the culprits.