16-8-913/D, Malakpet X Road, Hyderabad-24, Telangana State
PUCL Report on
Police killing 25 people in two encounters of Telangana State  and AP State 
The erstwhile combined state of Andhra Pradesh was notorious for `fake encounters’ in the country. After ten months of the bifurcation of the state into Telangana and Andhra Pradesh once again the police resorted to killing of 25 people on a bloody Tuesday, April 7, 2015.
In Telangana, the incident in Warangal district, the police escorting five under-trial prisoners, who were suspected terrorists, shot them dead on the pretext that one of them tried to snatch a firearm from one of the escorts in a bid to flee police custody;
In Andhra Pradesh, the incident where 20 men alleged to be smugglers of red sandalwood were shot dead in the Seshachalam forest of Chittoor district, near Tirupati in a joint-operation conducted by the Andhra Pradesh Police and Forest Officials.
The Fake Encounter at Telangana State incident took place in a prison van, where 17 security force members were taking 5 prisoners namely Vikhar Ahmmed @ Vikaaruddin, 30 years, (2). Syed Amjal Ali, 29 years, (3). Dr. Haneef, 32 years, (4). Mohammed Zakeer, 30 years, (5). Idaar Khan, 28 years all are under trials from Warangal Jail to a Hyderabad court. This encounter happened inside a jail van with all of the under trials killed, while handcuffed to their seats. The police claims that Vikar Ahmed, one of the under-trials, asked to be released in order for him to answer nature’s call. Upon his return he tried to snatch a weapon. The police opened fire when other under-trials allegedly tried to snatch weapons too and this led to all of them being killed.
The police version of the Andhra Pradesh encounter is that Red-sanders Anti-Smuggling Task Force spotted footprints of the “smugglers” and came across around 100 of them felling trees in the Seshachalam Forest at the foot of the Tirumala Hills. Members of the Task Force challenged them to surrender, but the woodcutters responded by pelting stones. The Task Force in turn responded to the raining stones by firing randomly at the woodcutters, which led to death of 20 of them; the rest ran away.
It is surprising to note that a “random firing” in response to stone pelting has resulted in the death of 20 woodcutters. One wonders what could have been the toll had the Force targeted the woodcutters in self-defense. Let us not forget how disproportionate it is to use bullets for stones, even if the stones were “raining” down. The alleged encounter took place in a jungle after all and trees could have given ample protection till the Task Force was able to capture all the alleged smugglers.
Now coming to Warangal incident it has to be imagined how could Vikar Ahmed attempt to snatch a weapon from the security personnel, as under-trials are never let-off alone, not even to use the toilet? As standard operating procedure, security personnel always escort under trials. Furthermore, even if he did attempt to snatch weaponry, how come a 17-member security force failed to overpower him without firing? Were not remaining four, as per their own claims, still handcuffed. It is impossible to believe this obliviously and fictitious story weaved by the police.
The PUCL wishes to bring to the notice of one and all, particularly the police organization that there is no concept much less any legal provision for “Encounter Death” as manifested by the police. Neither the provisions of the IPC nor the provisions of the Cr.PC and nor the provisions of any other law dealing with any crimes and criminal investigation does the expression “Encounter Death” appear. It is mere invention created by the police without any basis of law. While the matter has been adjudicated several times by the courts not only the discountenancing but also condemning the action of causing deaths of the persons in the custody naming them as “Encounter Deaths” in the latest Full Bench judgment of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh comprising of five Judges it has been authoritatively laid down that in case of every unnatural death caused even by the police force under the pretext of self defense must be reported and made the subject of ordinary enquiry under the provisions of Cr.P.C and also naming all the police personnel causing deaths. Such police personnel must be left to defend themselves in one or the other provisions contained in the Chapter relating to “General Exceptions” in I.P.C. Putting in other words, every claim made by the police personnel claiming the defense “self defense” either under the guise of encounter or otherwise, must NECESSARILY be subjected to an adjudication by a competent court. Otherwise, all the deaths caused by the police under the ‘fictitious’ name of encounter will be a cases of culpable homicide amounting to murder.
We are also condemning killings of police at Suryapet and Janakipuram too.
1. A judicial enquiry headed by a former judge of Supreme Court on Fake Encounters. Also intense probe should be conducted in police and politicians collusion with red-sand smugglers in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, suspect terrorists in Telangana.
2. To register an FIR to book all the police personnel involved on charges of murder (Section 302, IPC).
3. Immediate suspension of the implicated personnel pending the investigation, and arrests with no delay.
4. Preservation of crime scenes, ballistic and forensic evidence, seizure of all weapons.
5. Full protection must be given to all witnesses.
[K. Pratap Reddy]