As the gruesome rape and murder of the Hyderabad veterinarian shook the nation and Telangana, with angry people protesting and demanding justice for the victim, a district bar association in Telangana on Sunday decided not to represent the four accused in the rape and murder of the woman veterinary doctor. Mattapally Srinivas, president of the Ranga Reddy Bar Association, said they had taken the decision as “a moral and social responsibility against the heinous crime committed by the accused.”
“We have decided not to offer any legal services to the accused. In such cases, the court may direct the District Legal Services Authority to appoint a lawyer for them. When the Authority directs any advocate to represent the accused we cannot refuse it,” news agency PTI quoted him as saying.
Srinivas further said that some of the sections under which the four were booked by police may carry the death sentence, considering the gravity of the case.
Three policemen, including a sub-inspector were suspended on Saturday for the delay in registering a missing case of a woman veterinarian, who was later found gang-raped and murdered at Shamshabad on the outskirts of Hyderabad on Wednesday, as the family of the victim alleged that the police did not respond quickly when they approached them to lodge the missing complaint at 11 pm. They said the police wasted a lot of time over jurisdiction issue between two police stations besides asking them inappropriate questions.
As the shocking details emerged of the gruesome incident, several protests were seen across Telangana on Saturday demanding justice for the victim. The incident happened on Wednesday night when the accused punctured the rear tyre of the victim’s scooty to set a trap for her. On the pretext of helping her with the flat tyre, the accused abducted her and took turns to rape her. They killed the veterinarian and shifted the body to a place near Shadnagar town and set it to fire. The next day, police found her charred body.
The four men, all lorry workers, were booked under Sections 376D (gangrape), 302 (murder),201 (destroying evidence) of the Indian Penal Code.
Srinivas said the Association also demanded that the government establish a separate special court to expedite the trial of the case for instant justice.
They would organise a protest on December 2 at the main entrance of the court building “to condemn the inhuman attack,” he said.
The four were arrested on November 29.