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Protests over gangrape-murder of Hyderabad vet, angry crowd hurls stones at police as accused taken to jail

Press Trust of India  |  Hyderabad/New Delhi 

Protests were held at several places on Saturday against the rape and murder of a 25-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad with an angry crowd hurling stones at the police personnel, who escorted the four accused to jail from a police station in the Telangana capital, and demanding that the culprits be handed over to them.

The accused were sent to judicial custody for 14 days by the executive magistrate who passed the order at the Shadnagar police station, where they were lodged, as they could not be produced in court due to the presence of the large number of protesters in front of the police station.

Stones were hurled at a police vehicle as the accused were being taken to the jail in Hyderabad, and police used mild force to control the crowd.

National Commission for Women (NCW) member Shyamala Kundar, who was here to inquire into the incident, said she has recommended action against policemen, after an inquiry, as they allegedly did not respond on time to a complaint from the victim's family.

Protests were also held by different student groups and others at various places in Telangana demanding severe punishment to the accused. The local bar association has said it will not offer any legal assistance to the accused in the case.

Amid widespread outrage over the incident, which brought back painful memories of the 2012 Nirbhaya case, a candle light march was taken out at Jantar Mantar in Delhi.

The latest case of the veterinarian in Hyderabad, who was gang raped and then burnt, has brought the issue of women's safety in the country in focus again as the central government has "failed" to protect them, said Amrish Ranjan Pandey, media in-charge of the Indian Youth Congress which organised the protest.

A woman sat on a solitary protest near the Parliament here on Saturday morning and alleged that she was harassed and beaten up by police personnel following which the Delhi Commission for Women issued notice to Delhi Police.

Holding a placard with the slogan 'why I can't feel safe in my own Bharat', Anu Dubey, in her mid-20s, sat on the pavement near gate number 2-3 of the Parliament House complex to protest crime against women in the country, police said.

She alleged "gross misbehavior, harassment and violence" by Delhi Police personnel from the Parliament Street police station who forcibly removed her from the site and detained her.

Though the Delhi Police denied the allegations of brutality, the DCW issued notice to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, New Delhi district, seeking action against the erring police officials.

At the police station, she was allegedly thrown on a bed where three women police officers sat over her and beat her. She also had scratch marks on her body and blood was also coming out from her wounds, DCW said in the notice.

The Delhi Police said that a senior woman police officer will look into the matter.

The protests came two days after veterinary doctor, who works in a state-run hospital, was raped and killed by the four accused, all lorry workers, on the outskirts of Hyderabad. Her charred body was found on the outskirts of Hyderabad and the accused were arrested on Friday.

Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy and a number of other leaders met the deceased woman's family.

Condemning the incident, the leaders said the government would ensure that the culprits would get severe punishment through expeditious investigation and trial.

Police maintained tight vigil as people staged protests outside the Shadnagar police station in Hyderabad where the accused were lodged. Officials said the protests broke out in the morning and continued till the evening.

Some of the protesters demanded death penalty for the accused. "It is not enough if they are taken to court. They should be handed out the same treatment that they gave to the victim," a protester said. "If you cannot do it, hand them over to us," another said.

Police assured the agitators that they would ensure that the accused are convicted and sought their cooperation.

Doctors, who conducted medical tests on the accused as per procedure, told reporters that their condition was normal.

National Commission for Women (NCW) member Shyamala Kundar said the policemen had allegedly told the victim's sister, who had gone to lodge a complaint, that the case did not fall under their jurisdiction.

NCW chief Rekha Sharma said the veterinarian's family told them that the police played a "negative role" in the case and "wasted precious time" which could have been used to save her life.

The family members also said the police even alleged she had eloped with someone, Sharma said.

She also slammed Telangana Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali's remarks on the victim, saying such politicians do not deserve their positions and need to be sensitised about these matters.

Ali had asked why the victim had not called the police immediately.

Celebrities from the Indian film industry including Salman Khan, Shabana Azmi and Farhan Akhtar expressed anger over the Hyderabad incident with many taking to Twitter to vent their outrage.

"... These are the worst kind of shaitans (demons) disguised in the human form! The pain, torture and death of innocent women should now get us together and put an end to such shaitans who live among us, before any other innocent woman and their family go through this extreme agony and loss as this has to be stopped," Salman Khan tweeted.

"Let Beti Bachao not be just a campaign. This is the time to let these demons know that we all stand together. May her soul rest in peace," he wrote.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao's son and Municipal Administration Minister K T Rama Rao had on Friday said he would "personally monitor the case."

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had expressed shock over the incident, terming it as "terrible, unprovoked violence" beyond imagination.

The Union Home Ministry had said it will send an advisory to all states to take precautionary steps to check crime against women in the wake of the murder.

BJP national vice-president and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan expressed shock over the incident.

"It is beyond my imagination to think about what this young girl have faced. This incident is the culmination of insensitivity and bestiality. My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved family," he tweeted.

Many others also lamented that the rape incidents were continuing despite changes in laws after the Nirbhaya incident in which a 23-year-old paramedic was gang raped on December 16, 2012.

She and a male friend were assaulted in a moving bus as it drove through the streets of New Delhi. She was thrown out of the bus -so grievously injured that her insides were spilling out - along with her male friend near the airport. A fortnight later, on December 29, 2012, she succumbed in a Singapore hospital.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, November 30 2019. 21:30 IST
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