- Telangana rape-murder is a "shame on society": Jagan Reddy
- "As a father of 2 daughters, how should I react?" he asked
- On November 27, a veterinarian was raped, burnt alive in Telangana
Days after the four men accused in the Telangana rape and murder case were shot dead by the police, raising questions and prompting an investigation, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao has received a shout-out from his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Jagan Mohan Reddy. "Hats off," Jagan Reddy said in his message to Mr Rao on Monday, saying there was "nothing wrong" in what the police did.
"Hats off to KCR and Telangana police officers, the way it happened," the Chief Minister said.
"The incident is a shame on society. Four people punctured her two-wheeler. How should the police, leaders react to the horrific incident? We need to question ourselves," Jagan Reddy said in the Andhra Pradesh assembly, during a debate on women's safety.
"Nothing wrong to shoot them dead is what you feel."
The Chief Minister pointed out that he, too, had two daughters, a sister and a wife. "As a father of two daughters, the incident left me deeply agonized. As a father, how should I react to such incidents? What sort of punishment would give a parent relief," he asked.
Yet, Mr Reddy remarked, TV channels had said something wrong had happened.
"If the hero in a movie kills someone in an encounter, we all clap and say the movie is good. If a daring person does that in real life, someone will come down from Delhi in the name of National Human Rights Commission. They will say this is wrong, it should not happen like that," Mr Reddy said.
Mr Rao, aka KCR, was criticised for his silence on the gang-rape and murder that had horrified the nation. Many have criticised the Chief Minister for not visiting the family after the incident. A senior minister in his government, Talasani Srinivas Yadav, seemed to imply through his statements that police shooting had the leadership's sanction and that such people deserved punishment. "There was a lot behind the chief minister's silence,'' he had said.
The Telangana accused, Mohammed Arif, Jollu Shiva, Jollu Naveen and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu, all in their 20s, were shot dead in the early hours of Friday, when they were taken to the spot where a young woman was gang-raped, strangled and burnt on November 27. Police said the men deflated the woman's scooter tyre and pretended to help. They took her to a spot around 50 km from Hyderabad and assaulted her, the police said.
According to the police, the four, when taken to the site of the killing for a reconstruction, snatched their guns, threw stones and sharp objects at them and fired. The police claimed to have fired back in self-defence, killing all four.
The incident has sharply divided opinion, with many praising the Telangana police but many also sounding a note of caution against extra-judicial killings.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is investigating the shootings and a Special Investigation Team will also examine what happened.