The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday took suo motu cognizance of the killing of the four men — accused of rape and murder of a veterinary doctor in Hyderabad — in an encounter with the police early today.

Initiating a probe into the encounter, the NHRC has asked its Director General (Investigation) to immediately send a team for a fact-finding on-the-spot investigation into the matter.

“The commission is of the opinion that this matter is required to be probed very carefully. Accordingly, it has asked its Director General (Investigation) to immediately send a team for a fact-finding on-the-spot investigation into the matter,” the NHRC said in a statement.

The team of the Investigation Division of the Commission headed by an SSP is expected to leave immediately and submit their report at the earliest.

The NHRC statement further said that the incident clearly indicates that the cops were neither alert nor prepared for any untoward activity.

“The deceased had been arrested by the police during investigation and a judgment in the matter by the competent court was yet to be pronounced. If the arrested persons were actually guilty, they were to be punished as per law pursuant to the directions of the competent court,” it said.

Opinions have been divided over the encounter killings of the accused.

While many have hailed the Hyderabad Police for the act, others including lawyers and politicians have condemned the entire incident.

Bharatiya Janata Party MP and former union minister Maneka Gandhi earlier in the day questioned the manner in which the encounter was carried out by the police in which the four accused were shot dead.

Lawyer Vrinda Grover denounced the police shooting and said an FIR must be filed.

In a major development, all four accused in the rape and murder of woman veterinarian in Hyderabad were killed in an encounter with the police when they were trying to escape during the recreation of the crime at the same spot where the woman’s body was found.

It is learnt that the four accused had been taken to Chattanpalli by a police team to reconstruct the scene of crime where they allegedly attacked the cops and tried to run away from the spot.

There are also reports that two of the men attacked the police and tried to snatch weapons from them. The police fired back in self-defence at the men resulting in their death.

The 27-year-old woman veterinary doctor was on November 27 gangraped and murdered near the Tondupally toll plaza in Shamshabad on the outskirts of Hyderabad and her body was dumped and burnt 25 km away at the Chatanpally Bridge in the Ranga Reddy district, sending shockwaves across the nation.