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Terror accused shot dead while handcuffed?

A day after five alleged terror operatives, including founder of local militant group Tehreek-Ghalba-e-Islam (TGI) Viqaruddin Ahmed alias Viqar, were shot dead by police in Telangana’s Warangal district, questions are being raised whether the killings were staged.

After visuals from the encounter site showed at least one of the accused partially handcuffed, questions began to emerge on the authenticity of the encounter.

To dispel doubts the police on Tuesday night released details of the “exchange of fire” and said that the incident happened while the five accused were being brought to a Hyderabad court from Warangal Central Jail.

According to the police, the five undertrial prisoners were being brought in an Eicher mini bus. On the outskirts of Tangutur village, Viqar demanded to stop the vehicle to attend to nature’s call. An escort constable took off Viqar’s handcuff and stepped out with him.

“After entering the vehicle, he snatched the Insas weapon of the escort police constable and opened fire. The remaining four accused also tried to snatch weapons overpowering the police shouting slogans. It is learnt the escort party fired in self defence resulting in the death of Viqar and other four accused,” said the police statement.

The families of the accused have termed the encounter as “fake” and “stage-managed” by the police. They are demanding that the policemen involved be booked for murder.

The families and their counsel said the youth were killed as the cases against them were reaching a final stage and the police were afraid that the judgment may go against them. They found many holes in the police claim that the youth who were chained tried to attack policemen.

Viqar’s father Mohammed Ahmed also cried foul over the entire incident. He has even refused to take his body till the government orders probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

“My daughter called me and informed about the incident. There is no chance for them to escape from the police. This is a plot by the police to eliminate him. We want justice. We demand from the government that whoever is involved in his murder (encounter) should be punished.

“Let the courts decide if he is guilty. Whatever court decides, even if it is death (penalty), we will accept. But not (this kind of act) by the police,” Ahmed said in Hyderabad.

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