2019 Hyderabad gang rape
In November 2019, the gang rape and murder of a 26-year-old veterinary doctor in Shamshabad, near Hyderabad, sparked outrage across India. Her body was found in Shadnagar on 28 November 2019, the day after she was murdered. Four suspects were arrested and, according to the Cyberabad Metropolitan Police, confessed to having raped and killed the doctor.
|Date||27 November 2019|
|Time||10 PM IST (UTC+05:30)|
|Location||Shamshabad, near Hyderabad, India|
1 (veterinary doctor) murdered on 27 November 2019
All 4 accused, killed in police encounter on 6 December 2019
The Telangana Police Department stated the victim parked her scooter near a toll plaza, catching the attention of two lorry drivers and their assistants. According to police, they deflated her tire, pretended to help her, and pushed her into nearby bushes, where they raped and smothered her. Allegedly, they loaded her corpse onto a lorry and dropped it onto the roadside.
The police arrested four men based on the evidence gathered from CCTV cameras and from the victim's mobile phone. The accused were taken into judicial custody at Cherlapally Central Jail for fourteen days. The Chief Minister of Telangana ordered the formation of a fast-track court to try the accused for their alleged crimes. The rape and murder elicited outrage in several parts of the country. Protests and public demonstration against rape were organised nationwide after the incident, with the public demanding stricter laws against rape and rapists. The Minister of Home Affairs criticised the Telangana Police and stated that the government intended to amend the Indian Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure to introduce laws for quicker punishment by fast-track courts.
All four accused were killed in a police encounter on 6 December 2019, under a bridge on Bangalore Hyderabad national highway, while they were in police custody. According to the police, the suspects were taken to the location for a reconstruction of the crime scene, where two of them allegedly snatched guns and attacked the police. In the ensuing shootout, all four suspects were shot dead. Some accused the police of extrajudicial execution, while thousands of people celebrated the men's deaths.
The first post-mortem of the four accused who were killed in the encounter was conducted on the same day itself at a government hospital in Mahabubnagar from where the bodies were subsequently moved to the Gandhi Hospital. The Telangana High Court on 21 December ordered the re-postmortem of the four accused. The second autopsy was done by a team of forensic experts of AIIMS, Delhi at a hospital in Hyderabad. After re-postmortem, the bodies have been handed over to the next of kin after due identification process was done.
India has been characterised as one of the "countries with the lowest per capita rates of rape". Many rapes go unreported in various countries including India. The willingness to report rape has increased in recent years, after several incidents of rape received widespread media attention and triggered public protest. Most notably, the 2012 Delhi gang rape led the Government of India to reform its penal code for crimes of rape and sexual assault.
(Name given by police to protect identity)
|Died||27 November 2019 (aged 25–26)|
|Cause of death||Murder (asphyxiation)|
|Body discovered||Under a bridge in Shadnagar|
The victim Dr Priyanka Reddy had pursued a degree in a veterinary college in Rajendranagar mandal. She was a resident of Shamshabad and was working as an veterinary assistant surgeon at the state-run hospital at Kollur village.
Rape and murderEdit
According to the Telangana Police Department remand report, the victim had parked her scooter near Tondupally toll plaza, where the accused ones saw her, two lorry drivers and their assistants, who had been drinking whiskey before allegedly planning the crime.
According to the remand report, on 27 November 2019 at around 6:15 p.m., after parking the scooter, the victim took a taxi to a dermatologist's office in Hyderabad. The suspects allegedly deflated her scooter's tire in her absence. After returning at around 9:15 p.m., she noticed the flat tyre and made a call to her sister. The accused told police they offered to help her, then ambushed her. Three of the suspects pushed her into bushes near the toll gate and turned off her phone. She continued screaming for help, so the men poured whiskey into her mouth in an attempt to silence her. The four men removed her clothes and took turns sexually assaulting her until she started bleeding and lost consciousness. When she regained consciousness, they smothered her, wrapped the corpse in a blanket, transported it in their truck 27 km to a location near the Shadnagar interchange on the Hyderabad Outer Ring road, and at approximately 2:30 a.m. burnt it under a bridge using diesel and petrol purchased for the purpose.
The police arrested the four accused based on the evidence gathered from CCTV cameras, an eyewitness, and the victim's mobile phone. It was reported that they were drunk during the rape and murder.
The woman's charred corpse was found under Chatanpally Bridge in Shadnagar located 30 km (19 mi) from the toll booth where she was abducted. Her scooter was found at a distance of 10 km (6.2 mi) from the place where her body was found. The police found her clothes, handbag, footwear and a liquor bottle near the toll booth. 70% of the body was covered with burns. A locket of Ganesha found on the charred corpse helped her family to identify the victim. The body was handed over to the family after a post mortem.
The executive magistrate sent the four accused into custody for 14 days to Cherlapally Central Jail. On 1 December 2019, Telangana Chief Minister ordered that a fast-track court be formed to try the accused of this crime.
Although the case was solved by the police in twenty-four hours, the family was dissatisfied. According to the victim's family, the response by the Cyberabad Police was improper, claiming that a quicker response by the police could have saved the victim's life. The victim's father had approached the police at 11 p.m. on 27 November, after which the police allegedly wasted time over the applicability of the jurisdiction of the police station and inappropriate questioning of the family. Constables were only sent for a search along with the family at 3 a.m. to Thondupally toll plaza and could not find the victim.
The day after the incident the local police suspended three policemen, including a sub-inspector, belonging to the Shamshabad airport police station for negligence and the delay in registering a missing person case.
The local police convinced the victim's family to allow the use of a fictional name, Disha, in place of the victim's true name in media reporting. They also suggested using the hashtag #JusticeForDisha for social media posts instead of using the real name. Indian laws prohibit naming rape victims, and violations are subject to legal penalties. On 3 December, a man from Nizamabad district was arrested by the Cyberabad police, after a cyber crime case was filed against him, for posting pictures and spreading derogatory posts about the victim.
@cyberabadpolice, 5 December 2019
The half-burnt corpse of another woman was found nearby, and the case is under investigation as of 1 December 2019. The police stated that it was not clear if it was a case of self immolation or if she was set on fire. Police have not confirmed a link between the second corpse and the veterinarian's murder.
The rape and murder caused outrage in several parts of the country. Protests against rape were organised across the country including the major cities, New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad. Hyderabad was the centre of the protests. Politicians including Rahul Gandhi, expressed shock over the incident that happened near Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. Protesters across India demanded stricter laws against rapists. After the arrest of the four suspects, a crowd of local residents gathered at the Shadnagar police station to protest against the crime and demanding that the police either hang or shoot the culprits.
Due to the crowd of protestors around the police station, the accused could not be brought to court. Instead the executive magistrate arrived to the police station and passed the order to send the accused on judicial custody for 14 days.
While the police were transporting the accused from the Shadnagar police station to the prison in Hyderabad, several protestors threw stones over police vehicles. Police used force and wielded batons to control the crowd, who were demanding the police hand over the accused to them. The public sentiment was against the police. The protestors questioned the priorities of the police and demanded that police act in a sensitive, responsive and proactive manner.
Discussion in ParliamentEdit
On 2 December 2019, the incident was discussed in both houses of the Indian parliament, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. The members of the two houses expressed outrage on the incident and demanded concrete action. In the Lok Sabha, the Union Minister Rajnath Singh stated that the government was "open to every suggestion to curb such heinous crimes" and ready to explore strongest legal provisions. Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy said, "There is zero tolerance towards crimes against women and children. Our government will soon bring requisite amendments to CrPC and IPC." He further added that the government will possibly try to bring the changes in the ongoing winter session of Parliament.
In Rajya Sabha, an adjournment motions over the incident was rejected by Chairman Venkaiah Naidu, but he allowed the members to discuss such incidents in the country. Member of Parliament Jaya Bachchan said during a heated debate that the rapists should be lynched. P. Wilson suggested courts be empowered "to surgically and chemically castrate convicted rapists before they are released from jails" to prevent repeat offenders. He stated that the list of sexual offenders should be released publicly. Vijila Sathyananth asked for faster delivery of justice and the hanging of the accused before 31 December. A speedy trial and death penalty for the accused was common demand of the members.
Mohd. Ali Khan asked for defined timelines for the trial in fast-track courts. He also asked to avoid giving a religious colour to the accused since they belonged to different religions. The Communist Party of India which generally opposes capital punishment demanded it for the accused and its member Binoy Viswam stated "I do not believe in death penalty but these accused should be hanged for such a heinous crime".
Proposed legal changesEdit
In an interview to NDTV while visiting the family of the victim, Union Minister of State for Home, Kishan Reddy criticised the casual attitude of Telangana Police and their lack of a sense of urgency, saying it might have saved the victim. He stated "No one can be turned away from the police station like that. We will make it compulsory for every police station to accept a complaint. The FIR can be filed later; first they should have helped to search [for] the girl". He added "We take a very serious view of the developments. We intend to amend the IPC (Indian Penal Code) and CrPC (Code of Criminal Procedure) to make the law such that punishment is quick through fast-track courts. We will discuss this in great detail in a meeting of DGPs (senior police officers) between December 6 and 8. We want to publicise 112 as an emergency response system. Every woman must download the app to use in emergency. At the same time, the police and law enforcement authorities, her family, even some volunteers will be alerted, so response can be quick. We have recently introduced it in Delhi and want to publicise it everywhere." 
The Government of Andhra Pradesh passed a bill named Disha Act (also known as, Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2019) to award death penalty for rapists within 21 days after the crime is committed.
Killing of the suspectsEdit
All four accused were killed in an "encounter", a term used in India for killings by police, at around 3:30 am IST on 6 December 2019, under a bridge on Bangalore Hyderabad national highway, prompting accusations of extrajudicial execution. The New York Times reported that police "had been under enormous pressure to bring the rapists to justice".
According to Prakash Reddy, Deputy Commissioner of Shamshabad Police in Hyderabad, the four suspects were taken to the location for a reconstruction of the crime scene, where two of them snatched guns and attacked the police. In the ensuing shootout all four suspects were shot dead. According to reports in the Indian Express, police alleged that one of four accused had gestured to the other three to flee after attacking the police. The four tried to run towards a deserted pathway when police opened fire in what they described as self-defence. The suspects were not wearing handcuffs. According to Cyberabad police chief V. C. Sajjanar, the suspects had managed to snatch and use the weapons because the guns were unlocked. He stated "All four accused got together and started attacking the police party. Officers maintained restraint and asked them to surrender but without listening to us they kept firing. Our officers retaliated".
The family of the victim welcomed the encounter. Thousands of people celebrated at the scene of the men's deaths the following day, some setting off firecrackers, distributing candies, showering police with flower petals, hoisting police to their shoulders, and shouting "hail the police!" The New York Times reported that crowds celebrating in the streets had brought traffic to a standstill. Celebrations were also reported in other areas. Politicians and celebrities thanked police for the encounter on social media. The BBC attributed the celebrations to frustration with the "meandering pace" of the judicial system in India, which often requires years and occasionally decades to adjudicate clear cases. The BBC noted the popularity of films featuring "trigger-happy, vigilante cops brazenly carrying out extrajudicial executions" and the number of tweets comparing the Cyberabad police officers with the hero of Singham, a 2011 film about an avenging police officer.
The families of the accused were shocked with the news and questioned the killings. Human rights organizations and activists condemned the encounter. Maneka Gandhi stated that the case should have been tried in court. Karuna Nundy expressed concerns that "now nobody will ever know if the four men killed by the police were innocent men, arrested fast to show action. And whether four of the most brutal rapists roam free, to rape and kill more women." Amnesty International India stated that the "alleged extrajudicial execution" had raised disturbing questions and asked for an independent investigation. The Pioneer reported that multiple rights activists had termed the encounter as a distraction from the government's failures to safeguard women's rights. Meenakshi Ganguly of Human Rights Watch tweeted, "To appease public rage over state failures against sexual assault, Indian authorities commit another violation." Activist Rukmini Rao criticized some members of parliament for adding to the pressure on police, telling News Today "The police are acting on what they see as public support. And today we find not just public support, ordinary citizens, but we are finding members of parliament demanding lynchings, demanding killings, and if that is the case, how do you expect the police to act? The parliament has to uphold constitutional law." The Telangana High Court ordered to preserve the bodies of the accused until 13 December, and permitted their transfer (due to lack of morgue space) to Gandhi Hospital.
The National Human Rights Commission of India initiated an investigation of the killings and will send a team led by a senior officer to Telangana. News Today has questioned whether the encounter was staged.
- Ganeshan, Balakrishna (29 November 2019). "When will our country be safe for Women?". The News Minute. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
- Khan, Omar. "Four men confess to gang rape of woman they later burned alive, Indian police say". CNN. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- News Service, Express (6 December 2019). "Hyderabad rape-murder accused shot dead: How the 'encounter' with Telangana Police unfolded". The Indian Express. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- "Indian police kill rape-murder suspects, sparking celebrations". Agence France-Presse. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- Pandey, Geeta (6 December 2019). "Why Indians are celebrating the killings in Hyderabad". Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- "Hyderabad rape and murder case: AIIMS team conducts second autopsy of four accused killed in encounter; bodies handed over to kin". Firtspost. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
- Kumar, Radha (8 December 1997). The History of Doing: An Illustrated Account of Movements for Women's Rights and Feminism in India 1800-1990. Zubaan. ISBN 9788185107769 – via Google Books.
- "Chapter 5: Crime against women", Crime in India 2012 Statistics (PDF), National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, p. 81, archived from the original (PDF) on 16 January 2016
- Humphrey, John A.; Schmalleger, Frank (2012), "Mental illness, addictive behaviors, and sexual deviance", in Humphrey, John A.; Schmalleger, Frank (eds.), Deviant behavior (2nd ed.), Sudbury, Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett Learning, p. 252, ISBN 9780763797737.
- Gregg Barak. Crime and Crime Control: A Global View: A Global View. ABC-CLIO. p. 74.
Overall, however, rape rates are still lower than most other countries.
- United Nations (2009). African Women's Report 2009: Measuring Gender Inequality in Africa - Experiences and Lessons from the African Gender and Development Index. United Nations Publications. pp. 68–. ISBN 978-92-1-054362-0.
- Colonel Y Udaya Chandar (23 September 2016). The Ailing India. Notion Press. p. 337. ISBN 978-1-945926-26-6.
- Siuli Sarkar (17 June 2016). Gender Disparity in India: Unheard Whimpers. PHI Learning. p. 283. ISBN 9788120352513.
- Tamsin Bradley (28 February 2017). Women and Violence in India: Gender, Oppression and the Politics of Neoliberalism. I.B. Tauris. p. 105. ISBN 9781786721181.
- Shahid M. Shahidullah (2017). Crime, Criminal Justice, and the Evolving Science of Criminology in South Asia: India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Springer. p. 96.
police-recorded rape rate in India has shown a sharp increasing trend in recent years against the declining trend of all other violent and property crimes.
- Staff writer (19 December 2012). "Protests grow over gang rape of Indian woman (video)". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- Staff writer (31 May 2014). "Perceived government inaction over rape and murder of two teenage girls sparks public anger". India'sNews.Net. Archived from the original on 31 May 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
- "The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013" (PDF). The Gazette of India. Government of India. 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 November 2013.
- India, The Hans (30 November 2019). "Stringent action against accused, vows Talasani Srinivas Yadav". www.thehansindia.com. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
- Niranjankumar, Nivedita (30 November 2019). "Twitter Users Give Communal Hue To Hyderabad Vet's Gang Rape And Murder". boomlive.in. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
- "Hyderabad vet rape case: 4 remanded to judicial custody". Deccan Herald. 1 December 2019. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- ""They Poured Whiskey Into Her Mouth To...": Cops On Telangana Rape, Murder". NDTV.com. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- Pavan, P. (29 November 2019). "Hyderabad veterinary doctor gang rape, murder case: All four arrested accused are in 20s". Pune Mirror. Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- Kurmanath, K. V. "Brutal rape and murder of veterinary doctor shakes the conscience of Telangana". @businessline. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- "Killers gained Hyderabad veterinary doctor's confidence before murdering her?". The New Indian Express. 29 November 2019. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
- LR, Redacción (30 November 2019). "Cuatro camioneros violan, asesinan y queman el cuerpo de veterinaria de 27 años". larepublica.pe (in Spanish). Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- Pioneer, The. "4 rapists-killers of Hyd vet caught on toll cameras, held". The Pioneer. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
- P, Ashish (30 November 2019). "Telangana doctor was forced to consume liquor-laced cold drink: Police sources". India Today. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
- "We are shocked Two deaths in Hyderabad's Shamshabad area leave locals in fear". thenewsminute.com. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
- "Sent From One Police Station To Another, Says Telangana Vet's Family". NDTV.com. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- t, Jayendra chaithanya (1 December 2019). "Hyderabad gang-rape, murder rock nation". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- Rahul, N. (1 December 2019). "Hyderabad veterinarian rape and murder: Telangana CM orders fast track court to try accused". The Hindu. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- "Vet's Rape Case To Be Tried In Fast-Track Court: Telangana Chief Minister". NDTV.com.
- Menon, Amarnath K. (6 December 2019). "Hyderabad Rape Case: The Horror and the Shame". India Today. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
- Reporter, Staff (30 November 2019). "3 policemen suspended for FIR delay in vet case". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
- Deshpande, Abhinay (3 December 2019). "Nizamabad youth held for vulgar posts about Hyderabad vet on Facebook". The Hindu. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
- Pavan, P. (1 December 2019). "Hyderabad rape and murder case: Cops change victim's name to 'Disha'". Pune Mirror. Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- "Hyderabad: Man arrested for objectionable Facebook posts on rape victim". Telangana Today. 3 December 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
- @cyberabadpolice (5 December 2019). "Cyberabad Police responding about the accused" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Huge Protests Over Telangana Vet Rape-Murder, 3 Cops Suspended: 10 Points". NDTV.com. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- "Another Woman Burnt In Telangana, Close To Where Veterinarian Was Killed". NDTV.com. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
- Press, The Associated (2 December 2019). "Indians Demand Justice After Woman Gang Raped and Killed". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
- "Protesters Clash With Police Over Gang-Rape, Murder Of Telangana Vet". NDTV.com. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- Kurmanath, K. V. "Brutal rape and murder of veterinary doctor shakes the conscience of Telangana". businessline. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- Deshpande, Abhinay (6 December 2019). "All four accused in Hyderabad vet rape and murder case shot dead". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
- Ellis-Petersen, Hannah (2 December 2019). "Protests escalate in India over gang-rape and murder of woman". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
- Kaur, Kamaljit (2 December 2019). "Lynching to castration: MPs come up with controversial punishments for rapists". India Today. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
- "Lynch The Rapists, Says Jaya Bachchan, AIADMK Leader Breaks Down". NDTV.com. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
- Nair, Sobhana K. (2 December 2019). "Outrage in Rajya Sabha over Hyderabad rape and murder". The Hindu. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
- "Rapists should be brought out in public, lynched: Jaya Bachchan in Rajya Sabha amid uproar over Hyderabad case". Hindustan Times. 2 December 2019. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
- "Andhra Pradesh Assembly passes Disha Bill to hang rapists within 21 days of crime". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
- P, Ashish; HyderabadDecember 13, ey; December 13, 2019UPDATED; Ist, 2019 15:51. "Andhra Assembly passes Disha Bill to award death penalty to rapists within 21 days". India Today. Retrieved 13 December 2019.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
- Gettleman, Jeffrey; Kumar, Hari (6 December 2019). "After Horrific Rape in India, Police Kill 4 Suspects". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- "NHRC takes suo motu cognizance of Telangana encounter, orders probe". Hindustan Times. 6 December 2019. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- "Police shoot dead four suspects in gang-rape and murder". CNN. 6 December 2019. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- News Service, Express (6 December 2019). "In sudden turn of events, all four accused in Hyderabad vet rape-murder case killed in police encounter". Indian Express. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- ""Law Has Done Its Duty": Telangana Police On Row Over Killing Of Accused In Veterinarian's Rape-Murder". NDTV.com. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- "Justice done, says Hyderabad victim's family". in.news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- "Families of Hyd rape accused shocked, question police action". daijiworld.com. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- Pioneer, The. "Cops can't act like lynch mob, attempt to distract people: rights activists on Hyderabad encounter". The Pioneer. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- "Hyderabad shootout genuine or fake?". India Today. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- "Hyderabad encounter: Telangana High Court directs authorities to preserve bodies of slain accused till 13 December". Firstpost. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
- "Hyderabad rape-accused killing: NHRC team reaches city, to visit 'encounter' spot, examine bodies". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
- "Police kill four men suspected of rape, murder, drawing applause and concern". Reuters. 6 December 2019. Retrieved 6 December 2019.