New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday took suo motu cognisance of the alleged 'encounter', based on media reports, of the four accused arrested by the police in the gang-rape and murder of a veterinarian in Hyderabad.
In a statement, the rights body said, "As per reports, all four accused were taken to the scene of the crime around 60 kms from Hyderabad for a re-construction as part of the investigation."
The NHRC said that as per the police version, one of the accused signalled to the others to apparently escape and in the process they tried to snatch weapons from the police personnel. And, the police fired on them and they allegedly died in cross firing.
The rights body opined that this matter is required to be probed very carefully, and asked its Director General (Investigation) to immediately send a team for a fact finding mission into the matter. "The team of the Investigation Division of the Commission headed by an SSP, is expected to leave immediately and submit their report at the earliest," said the NHRC.
It said that the incident indicates the police personnel were not properly alert and prepared for any untoward activity by the accused on the spot, which resulted in the death of all the four.
"The deceased had been arrested by the police during investigation and a judgement in the matter by the competent court was yet to be pronounced. If, the arrested persons were actually guilty, they were to be punished as per law pursuant to the directions of the competent court," said NHRC.
The commission said there is a lack of "standard operating procedures" to immediately respond to panic situations by police authorities, and it has been insisting that all law enforcement agencies keep human rights in mind while dealing with persons arrested by them or being kept in their custody.
"The right to life and equality before law are the basic human rights recognised and granted by the Constitution of India," added NHRC.