The Telangana police on April 7 gunned down five under trials, including Viqaruddin Ahmed, self-styled commander of Tehreek Galba-e-Islam, when they allegedly tried to escape from custody in Telangana’s Warangal district while being escorted by atleast 15 armed policemen to Hyderabad for a court hearing.
Viqaruddin Ahmed and his four associates, Amjad Ali, Mohd. Zakir, Izhar Khan and Mohd. Haneef, were accused of being involved in a series of extremist offences in Hyderabad, Gujarat and other states including the killing of three policemen in Hyderabad and one in Ahmedabad. Viqaruddin was suspected to have SIMI links and was believed to be connected with other anti-India organisations based in Pakistan.
According to the police, the escort vehicle was stopped to enable one of the accused to attend nature’s call. When he was being handcuffed again the remaining four accused pounced on the policemen and tried to snatch their weapons. In the scuffle that ensued, there was an exchange of fire in which five accused were killed.
“Reserve Sub-Inspector Uday Bhaskar took off his handcuffs and took him out and when they returned he was about to handcuff him again when Vikaruddin snatched the AK-56 rifle that the RSI was carrying. While the RSI managed to pull off the magazine in the scuffle but the four remaining under-trials pounced on two other policemen nearby and tried to snatch their weapons. The other policemen in the bus retaliated and shot them dead,’’ DIG Reddy told the Indian Express.
The dead bodies were shifted to Janagaon hospital where an autopsy was conducted and then taken to Gandhi Memorial Hospital mortuary amid tight security.
This incident occurred just a couple of days after police killed two SIMI activists-identified as Aslam Ayub and Jakir Badrus- in an encounter in Nalgonda district. A Telangana police constable died on the spot in retaliatory firing, also an inspector and sub-inspector were wounded in the exchange of fire. The SI later succumbed to injuries. These two are believed to be among the six who escaped from the Khandwa jail in Madhya Pradesh in 2013.
This was the third incidence of violence involving the Telangana police and those accused of terror activities in less than a week’s time.
What is strange in this latest ‘perfect encounter story’ is that the none of the armed policemen were injured, images show that the accused are still handcuffed, chained to their seats, which makes it nearly impossible for them to attack the armed policemen and the rifle that the prisoners reportedly tried to ‘snatch’ are absolutely clean even though there was an exchange of fire and the dead body seems to be completely soaked in the prisoners own blood.
Writer Varavara Rao told Firstpost, “This encounter killing is pre-planned and the KCR government has been spending a lot on the police since its ascent to power,” he said. It was nothing but an effort on the part of state government to “boost the sagging morale of the police” who were unnerved by two earlier encounters in Nalgonda district.
Relatives of the accused have termed it as a ‘cold blooded murder’ and demanded a fair inquiry into the ‘killing’. “My son has been murdered. We demand a fair investigation into this horrifying killing”, said Mohammed Ahmed, father of Mohammed Viqaruddin.
An inquiry by an executive magistrate and judicial inquiry has already been ordered into the encounter