Commission has its reservations about responses by investigating officer
Commenting on investigating officer and DCP, Rachakonda SOT J. Surender Reddy’s answers during his deposition on Monday, the members of the Supreme Court-appointed commission to inquire into the Cyberabad police’s alleged encounter killings of the four accused in the rape and murder of Disha, a 27-year-old veterinarian, observed: “How can the witness be so dumb?”
The IO was examined again about the duration of the submitted video clippings, photographs and the procedure followed while recording the videos of the scene of occurrence at Chatanpally on December 6, 2019. Mr. Reddy was asked about the photographs and videography of the place from where Disha’s articles were recovered, empty cartridges lying on the ground, the place from where the accused allegedly ran away after snatching the pistols and police party had to open fire, and recordings during the collection of gunshot residue (GSR) from the hands of accused Mohammed Arif and Ch. Chennakeshavulu. The officer maintained ‘there are no such photos or videos of the articles being recovered and place from where the accused ran away’.
“If the IO is clueless about the clues, what can we do? Leave it for the influence of the commission,” the members said.
“How can the witness be so (I should not use this word but) so dumb?” former Bombay High Court judge Rekha Sondur-Baldota commented.
Earlier, when Mr. Reddy was not responding to their questions, the chairman of the commission, former judge Justice V. S. Sirpurkar stated that the IO was trying to ‘run away’ from questions. “That would be disastrous for you. You are deliberately trying to avoid my questions. I will write about it,” he said.
“For the last time, you are being asked as to what the spot from where Disha’s articles were recovered was not photographed or videographed?” the members asked. The IO answered: “I had instructed the Clues team to record the place from where articles were recovered. I realised later that the places were not recorded.”
For which, the commission member and former director of the CBI D. R. Karthikeyan commented, “Clues team turned out to be a clueless team.” While Justice Sirpurkar said, “I’m surprised by the kind of attitude shown to the commission by the police officers.”
The panel also asked the officer why the fired lead pieces of the bullet were not recovered despite using the metal detectors. “We tried to retrieve/trace them but couldn’t find them as the grass on the ground was long,” he said.
Mr. Reddy had also submitted the unsigned Call Details Record analysis reports of police personnel and independent eyewitnesses who were present at the scene of offences in the alleged encounter.
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