Sat | Sep 26, 2020

Indian police fatally shoot 4 suspects in gang rape case

Published:Friday | December 6, 2019 | 9:36 AM
Indian policemen stand guard the area where rape accused were shot on the outskirts of Chattanpally in Shadnagar some 50 kilometers or 31 miles from Hyderabad, India, Friday, December 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)

SHADNAGAR, India (AP) — Police on Friday fatally shot four men being held on suspicion of raping and killing a woman in southern India after investigators took them to the crime scene, drawing both praise and condemnation in a case that has sparked protests across the country.

The burned body of the woman — a 27-year-old veterinarian —was found last week by a passer-by near the city of Hyderabad, India’s tech hub, after she went missing the previous night.

At around 3:00 a.m. Friday, police took the suspects, who had not been formally charged with any crime, to the sites where the rape and killing are believed to have taken place and the spot in an underpass where the woman’s body was burned about half a kilometre (a third of a mile) away, said V.C. Sajjanar, the local police commissioner.

The police brought the suspects to help them locate evidence, including the victim’s phone, Sajjanar said at a news conference.

“The suspects seized some weapons from policemen who had taken them there and started firing,” Sajjanar said.

“Even though our officers maintained restraint and asked them to surrender, but without listening to us they continued to fire and continued to attack us,” Sajjanar said, adding that police returned fire, killing the suspects.

The woman’s death is the latest gruesome case of sexual violence against women to rile India and comes despite efforts to strengthen the penalties for such crimes.

Some advocates say those efforts have failed to deter predators.

Hours after the police shootings, the crime scene in Shadnagar, a town in the state of Telangana about an hour southwest of Hyderabad, had the appearance of a fairground.

About 300 people gathered to celebrate the suspects’ deaths.

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