Most Controversial Encounters In South India in the last two decades
Andhra Pradesh & Telangana: After the encounter of gangster Vikas Dubey on Friday morning, opposition parties and local leaders claim that it was a fake encounter. Police said that he tried to escape and attacked the cops who were taking him from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh where he was arrested on Thursday.
The circumstances of these encounters have created controversy over the genuineness of the police action. This is not the first instance when an encounter has come under the scanner.
Encounter by definition would mean an unexpected or unplanned meeting. First used to describe the suppressing of farmer agitations, encounter killings later became associated with the gunning down of members of banned armed groups. Over the years, nearly all encounter killings tell the same story. The police were fired upon first. They demanded that the accused surrender and put down their weapons, before firing and killing in self-defence.
The term encounter is older than previous Andhra Pradesh itself. The first-ever recorded case of an encounter in present day Andhra was in 1924. The dead man was Alluri Sitarama Raju, a leader of the 1922 Rampa rebellion, a tribal uprising at Visakhapatnam against British forces.
Telangana Peasant struggle
Between 1946 and 1951, more than 3,000 people were killed in encounters during the Telangana peasant struggle. It was the first state to kill its own people in the name of encounters after 1947 India.
Gangster Nayeem encounter
Renegade Maoist turned notorious gangster Mohammed Nayeemuddin has been killed in a police encounter that took place near Shadnagar town on NH44 on August 9 2016.
Then Telangana DIG Anurag Sharma confirmed the killing of ganster Nayeem in an encounter. As the Policemen got information that Nayeem had taken shelter in the Millennium Society complex near Shadnagar, the force went and tried to take him into custody. Police claimed that his gunman however had opened fire at the police which led to the retaliation by the police. In the process, Nayeem got killed.
Nayeem, who hails from Nalgonda district, was involved in the murder of Purushottam, a lawyer and civil right activist, Sambasivudu, a surrendered naxal leader and pattola Goverdhan Reddy, an important former leader of Maoist outfit.
Public sentiment supported the police action in this case. The Andhra Pradesh police had encountered three men in Warangal in 2008. The dead persons were accused of throwing acid on two engineering college students, who had rejected a proposal by one of the accused.
Police said they acted in self-defence but many believed the action was to calm down public sentiment of the time. VC Sajjanar was the superintendent of police in Warrangal at the time.
In November last year, a young veterinary doctor was kidnapped, gang-raped, suffocated to death and her body was burnt in Hyderabad. The news shocked the ethics of the nation.
Four persons accused in the case were killed near NH44 where the dead body of the veterinarian was found. The Cyberabad police said the four snatched police weapons and tried to escape during a spot-verification exercise.
Public sentiment was overwhelming in favour of the encounter. At some places, people even showered flower petals on the police. VC Sajjanar was the commissioner of police this time in Cyberabad and like in Warangal, he was called as a hero.
Operation Cocoon was launched by the Special Task Force of Tamil Nadu Police to nab the forest brigand Veerappan and his associates, who were dominant in Sathyamangalam Forest in the South Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. The operation was headed by K. Vijay Kumar, and N. K. Senthamarai Kannan Yadava.
Veerappan was shot dead in the operation on October 18 2004 along with three of his associates, Sethukuli Govinda, Chandre Gowda and Sethumani, while four policemen were injured.
Veerappan defied the state governments of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and Indian Border security paramilitary forces, and maintained a small army, which at one point numbered hundreds. He was wanted for killing approximately 184 people, about half of whom were police officers, including senior police and forest officials. He was also wanted for poaching about 200 elephants and smuggling ivory worth Rs 16 Cr and about 10,000 tonnes of sandalwood worth approximately Rs 143 Cr.