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Three acid attack accused shot dead

Three men who were arrested on Friday for throwing acid on two girls, one of whom is critical, were killed in an encounter with the police later that night, reports Ashok Das.

india Updated: Dec 14, 2008 00:27 IST
Ashok Das

Three men who were arrested on Friday for throwing acid on two girls, one of whom is critical, were killed in an encounter with the police later that night. Warangal SP V.C. Sajjanar said S. Srinvas Rao, Potharaju Harikrishna and B. Sanjay were killed when they attacked the policemen while trying to escape. However, the incident has sparked off talk of a fake encounter.

The incident took place in the outskirts of Warangal town. “A police party had taken the accused to Mamnoor hillock, where they’d hidden the material used to target the two engineering students. They tried to throw acid at the policemen and attacked them with a country-made revolver and knives. The policemen fired in retaliation, killing the three,” Sajjanar said.

Just two hours ago, the three were produced before the media, where Rao admitted he’d attacked Swapnalika on Wednesday with the intention of disfiguring her. “If she couldn’t become mine, no one else should get her,” the engineering college dropout had said. Swapnalika’s friend Pranitha was also a victim. Harikrishna and Sanjay admitted they’d helped Rao plan and carry out the attack.

Swapnalika is battling for her life while Pranitha’s face is partially disfigured.

Potharaju Saraiah, Harikrishna’s father, alleged the three were killed in a fake encounter. Human rights activists K Balagopal and Jeevan Kumar also condemned the police. Home Minister K. Jana Reddy said he’d asked for a report before deciding on a formal enquiry.

However, students across Telengna celebrated the encounter with crackers and sweets. Even political leaders came out in open support of the police action. “Whether it was a fake encounter or not is a secondary issue. They committed a brutal crime against women,” said V Jhansi of the BJP’s women's wing.