Yendada ‘Encounter’: HRF Submission To Magisterial Probe

The District Revenue Officer

Sub: Submission to the magisterial inquiry into alleged encounter death of B Veerabrahmam and M Anil Kumar


We have gathered from media reports that you are the officer conducting magisterial inquiry under Section 176 of CrPC into the death of B Veerabrahmam and M Anil Kumar in an alleged encounter with the police on the outskirts of the city on October 20, 2007. We are functionaries of several human, women and Dalit rights’ organisations that are concerned with, among other things, ensuring that the agencies of the State, like the police, adhere to the law in the discharge of their duties. We believe that citizens must be tried and punished, if found guilty, only in accordance with a procedure laid down by the law of the land and none can be subjected to extra-judicial execution by the State. That would be contrary to Articles 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution. We therefore place before you the following:

We believe that the encounter version being put out by the city police, which claimed the lives of Veerabrahmam and Anil Kumar on October 20, did not take place at all. Rather, it was a case of deliberate and cold-blooded killing of the two men by the police. An encounter version was subsequently put out by the city police stating that the two men fired upon the police first and the police returned fire in self-defence killing them. This, we believe is a falsehood resorted to by the police in order to cover up these twin murders.

As you are aware, an encounter by definition means an exchange of fire. Every killing in an encounter is a killing in self-defence. At the conclusion of every alleged encounter, the police officer in charge of the police party that has participated in the alleged encounter gives a complaint in the local police station, which is registered as a crime under Section 307 of the IPC (read with other appropriate sections). This means that the crime is registered as one of attempt to murder by the now deceased as a consequence of which the police, according to the complaint, had to resort to firing in self-defence causing death.

It is our considered view that such an incident must be registered as two crimes under Section 307 and 302 respectively. The first is a crime of Attempt to Murder by the now deceased and the other a crime of Culpable Homicide Amounting To Murder by the police purportedly in self-defence.  The burden of establishing a preponderance of probabilities in favour of the exception relating to self-defence to a competent court rests upon the police personnel who have fired causing death.

Thus, every alleged encounter, as the one of October 20, has to be registered as a crime under Section 302 IPC (read with other appropriate statutes) against the police, and the concerned police personnel have to be arrested and put on trail for Culpable Homicide Amounting to Murder. The burden of raising sufficient presumption in favour of the plea of self-defence then rests with the accused police officer/personnel.  Importantly, the case must be investigated by an agency completely independent of the State police. This lawful procedure has not been followed by the law enforcing authorities in the present case relating to the alleged encounter deaths of B Veerabrahmam and M Anil Kumar. This must be done without further delay. It is pertinent to note here that the family members of the deceased have also stated on several occasions to the media that they did not believe the police version of an encounter and that they believed the two had been murdered by the police.

We also urge you to issue a public statement assuring potential witnesses who wish to depose before you that no harm will befall them. We say this because in most cases relating to police lawlessness intimidation is resorted to by the police so as to prevent people from deposing.


VS Krishna
HRF State secretary


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