'We would even accept the SIT if the state government appoints honest people on it.'
'But the government appointing an SIT in which all members are policemen from Telangana makes one suspicious of the motive of the state government.'
Prasanna D Zore/Rediff.com reports from Hyderabad.
"We reject the government-appointed SIT (Special Investigation Team). Our only demand is to either hand over the case to the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) or appoint a sitting judge of any high court to head the SIT," Mohammad Ahmed told Rediff.com.
Vikaruddin Ahmed, Ahmed's son, was one of the five alleged Students Islamic Movement of India activists killed by the Telangana police in an alleged shootout on Tuesday, April 7.
An SIT with all its members belonging to the Telangana police deserves to be condemned, Ahmed said, adding, "We would even accept the SIT if the state government appoints honest people on it. But the government appointing an SIT in which all members are policemen from Telangana makes one suspicious of the motive of the state government."
According to an order issued by Telangana Chief Secretary Rajiv Sharma, an SIT headed by Inspector General of Police (personnel) Sandeep Shandilya was appointed by the state government to probe the alleged killing of the five undertrials as they were being taken to court.
Other members of the SIT include Shahnawaz Kasim, superintendent of police, Khammam district; M Ramana Kumar, assistant commissioner of police, Cyberabad; L Raja Venkat Reddy, inspector, Chanderghat police station; M Dayananda Reddy, DSP, Intelligence; and S Ravinder, inspector, Humayunagar police station.
When asked who he considers "honest" men to be appointed on the SIT, Ahmed said he would appeal to the state high court to either direct the CBI to probe the alleged shootout or ask for a sitting judge of any high court to head the investigation.
"We doubt if the government-appointed SIT will honestly inquire into the encounter and bring the truth out in the open," he added.
Vikaruddin Ahmed, Dr Mohammad Hanif Khan, Syed Amjad Ali, Mohammed Izrar Khan and Mohammed Zakir were killed near Alair in Nalgonda district while on their way to Hyderabad for a court hearing.
"The truth will not come out (by the appointment of this SIT). We have no hope from this SIT. Inshaallah, we will be knocking the doors of the court to either get these fake encounters investigated by the CBI or the sitting judge of a high court," Ahmed said.
Advocate M A Azim, who represented Vikaruddin, told Rediff.com that lawyers will petition the Telangana high court in the next couple of days for the appointment of an SIT headed by a sitting judge of the high court or order the CBI to investigate the alleged encounter.
Echoing Ahmed's views, Azim said, "We have no confidence in an SIT appointed by the state government."
Image: Mohammed Ahmed. Photograph: Prasanna Zore/Rediff.com