The Telangana High Court on Monday directed authorities to preserve the bodies of all four accused in the Hyderabad veterinarian gang-rape and murder case till Friday. The four accused were gunned down by the police on November 6 near Shadnagar town during an investigation.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice RS Chauhan wanted to know if the police followed the Supreme Court guidelines in the matter. It also wanted the government to provide evidence of the same.

HC took up the hearing of two petitions seeking a comprehensive probe into December 6 incident.

A counsel of petitioners told reporters that the Advocate General BS Prasad submitted to the bench that similar petitions were being heard by the Supreme Court. Prasad sought that the case be adjourned to Thursday as the hearing in the apex court is scheduled for Wednesday.

On this, the court agreed and posted the matter for further hearing to Thursday.

It was also brought to the court’s notice that Government Medical College in Mahabubnagar lacked facilities to preserve the bodies for a longer time, the court issued orders to shift the bodies to Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad.

It is to be noted that the court had earlier passed orders for preserving the bodies till December 9.

Read: Preserve bodies till Dec 9, hand over autopsy video of Telangana rape-accused: HC

The development came after various human rights groups requesting judicial intervention into the matter which they called ‘extra judicial killings’.

The petition, signed by as many as 15 organisations, alleged that the encounter was carried out in violation of the Supreme Court guidelines.

They sought autopsy by experts from New Delhi or from states other than Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. They also sought orders to constitute an independent court-monitored committee to examine FIRs registered in the case, records of government vehicles used by all police officers engaged in the encounter, their call details records and the preservation of evidentiary material.

The groups also demand that all police personnel who participated in the killing of four accused be immediately arrested and prosecuted. They said the investigation into this case should be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) since the Telangana Police cannot be trusted to be fair in the matter.

However, the Telangana Police have maintained that the accused tried to attack the cops by snatching guns and firing at them. The police in self-defence fired back resulting in the death of the four men.

Amid aspersions being cast on the alleged encounter, Cyberabad Police Chief VC Sajjanar at a press briefing on Friday evening revealed the details of the early morning incident.

He said the police interrogated the accused on December 4 and 5 after taking them into custody. On the morning of November 6, the men were brought to the crime spot to recreate the November 27 incident as part of the investigation.

The accused then attacked the police with sticks and then snatched the weapons from them and started firing, the top cop claimed.

Sajjanar further claimed the police warned the accused and asked them to surrender but they continued to fire. Then we opened fire and they were killed in the encounter, he said.

All four accused in the rape and murder of woman veterinarian in Hyderabad were killed in an encounter with the police in the wee hours of Friday when they were trying to escape during the recreation of the crime at the same spot where the woman’s body was found.

(With inputs from IANS)