News18 Wrap: Hyderabad Rape Accused Killed in Overnight Encounter, Centre Recommends Rejecting Nirbhaya Rapist's Mercy Plea & Other Stories You Missed

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Hyderabad Encounter: Law has done its duty, Cyberabad police commissioner CV Sajjanar said on Friday after the pre-dawn ‘encounter’ killing of the four accused in the rape and murder of a veterinary doctor in Telangana even as questions are being raised over the authenticity of the police action. He asserted that the police personnel only resorted to "retaliatory" firing after two of the accused opened fire at police after snatching weapons from them this morning. Read more.

Nirbhaya Convict: The Union Home Ministry has sent a recommendation rejecting the mercy petition filed by one of the convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya rape and murder case to President Ram Nath Kovind. The move comes on a day the victim’s family made an emotional appeal for justice following the controversial encounter of four accused in a similar rape case in Hyderabad. Read more.

Passport Sealed: The government has cancelled the passport of controversial godman Nithyananda and has rejected his application for fresh one, the External Affairs Ministry said on Friday. Nithyananda had allegedly fled India without a passport to save himself from a rape case registered against him in Karnataka. The Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that the ministry has sensitised all its missions and posts abroad about Nithyananda. Read more.

Unnao Rape: A five-member Special Investigation Team has been constituted by the Divisional Commissioner, Lucknow to probe the Unnao incident, where a rape survivor was set on fire by five persons on Thursday. "The team will probe all aspects of the case and submit a report to me," said Divisional Commissioner Mukesh Meshram. However, he did not disclose the time-frame given to the SIT to submit its report. Read more.

Abdullah's Letter: "We are not criminals," says Lok Sabha member and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah in a letter to Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on his personal letterhead which mentions his residence as "sub-jail". Abdullah is among a host of political leaders who have been detained on August 5 after the Centre withdrew special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and bifurcated the state into union territories. Read more.

Onion Price: Showing no signs of cooling down, retail onion prices have continued to spiral, touching as high as Rs 165/kg on Friday even as the government grapples to boost the supplies through imports. The government in Parliament said imported onions will arrive by January 20 and has approved the import of up to 1.2 lakh tonnes to check the ongoing price rise. Read more.

Agree or disagree

Early morning today, it was reported that the four suspects involved in the gruesome rape and murder case in Hyderabad have been eliminated in a police encounter, whilst they were taken to the scene of offense in furtherance of investigation. The case of the police appears to be that all four suspects who were in custody were trying to flee and also attacked the police. Factually, it is difficult to accept this theory for more than one reason. When the accused are being taken out of lockup or prison, they are always taken with adequate guards and under handcuffs. The police team in a case of such gruesome offense would not take chance by inadequately equipping themselves with the weapons. Secondly, assuming that the accused tried to flee, it is settled law that in such a case the escorting policeman is permitted by law to use a firearm, but only to hit them on the lower part of their body. Read the piece by Majeed Memon, who argues questions whether the encounter was genuine because provisions of law make it difficult to accept cops' explanation.

Art of the Day

Onion-Prices-Cartoon

Govt says imported onions to arrive by January 20 as onion prices shoot up to Rs 165/kg.