2 Hyderabad rape-murder accused were minors, claim families

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GUDIGANDLA/JAKLAIR (TELANGANA): At least two of the four youths suspected of raping and murdering a young veterinarian, who were later killed in a police “encounter”, were minors, according to their family members. The families have also alleged before the National Human Rights Commission that all four were killed in a fake encounter.
On Monday, TOI visited the families of the four slain suspects — J Naveen, J Shiva, Ch Chennakeshavulu and Mohammed Areef — in Gudigandla and Jaklair villages of Narayanpet district. Naveen’s mother, Laxmi, said, “Naveen, my only son, was 17 when he was killed. He was born in 2002. He dropped out of school some years ago. We will soon get a copy of the school leaving certificate from the Chinnaporla school where he studied.”
Shiva’s father, J Rajanna, is a shepherd who works on a farm in Tenali town, Andhra Pradesh. He told NHRC officials that he suspects that police killed his son in a fake encounter. “How can he try to escape from armed police?” he asked. “We suspect that he was killed in a fake encounter. Even if my son had committed a crime, police should have let the court decide his fate.” Rajanna, too, told NHRC officials that his son was 17 years old. “He was born on August 15, 2002,” he added, showing a certificate issued by the headmaster of Gudigandla government school. He will be giving a copy of the certificate to the NHRC.
Both Naveen and Shiva were cleaners on the truck that Areef and Chennakeshavulu drove in shifts. All four were picked up on November 29, two days after the veterinarian was gang-raped, murdered and her body set on fire near an underbridge on the Shadnagar highway, just outside Hyderabad. They were killed early on December 6 morning when they were taken to Shadnagar to gather evidence.
According to police, the accused attacked them and even snatched the guns of other cops, after which they were killed in an “encounter”.
Chennakeshavulu’s father, Ch Kurmappa, said, “They took my son saying he will be dropped back by 6am the next day. But his phone was switched off after that. Police killed my son and put a firearm in his hand. This is what I have told NHRC.” Chennakeshavulu is believed to have been 19 years old.
Chennakeshavulu’s wife, Renuka, is seven months pregnant. She last saw him at 3am on November 29, when the owner of the truck, Srinivasa Reddy, came home and took him away. “I don’t have parents. They killed him and did not even let me speak to him after his arrest,” Renuka said.
Mohammed Areef’s father, Hussain, too, met NHRC officials and told them he believed his son was shot dead in a fake encounter. According to his family, he was 26 years old.

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