All four accused in the rape-and-murder case of a 25-year-old woman veterinarian near here last month were killed in an exchange of fire with police on Friday morning, police said.
The incident took place around 6.30 am when the accused were taken to the site of the offence for reconstruction of the scene of the crime as part of the investigation, a senior police official said.
'They (accused) snatched weapons from police and fired on police and tried to escape... police fired in retaliation in which the four accused died,' a senior police official said. Two policemen were also injured, he said.
The four men, all lorry workers, aged between 20 and 24, were arrested on 29 November for raping and killing the woman by smothering her and later burning her body.They were remanded to seven days' judicial custody.
Reacting to the killing of the four accused in the encounter, the victim's sister said they welcomed it. 'We are happy. We did not expect this (killing in encounter). We thought they would be hanged through courts. We thank everyone who stood by us. With this incident people should be scared to indulge in such crimes (against women),' she told reporters.
The gang rape-and-murder triggered a nation-wide outrage with the public and lawmakers demanding speedy punishment to the perpetrators.
The State government had ordered setting up of a special court (fast track) to expedite the trial. The father of the woman veterinarian said today that he was very happy that all the four accused were killed in an encounter and thanked the police and Telangana government for it.
'We watched on TV that they were killed in an encounter. We are very happy. Even people are happy. I thank the Telangana government and police for the encounter. I thank everyone who stood by us,' the woman's father said.