As news of the Hyderabad encounter broke, social media was flooded with congratulatory and celebratory tweets praising Telangana Police and state. Indian police have shot dead four men suspected of raping and killing a young female vet in Hyderabad last week.
The men were in police detention and were taken back to the scene of the crime in the early hours of Friday. The suspects were shot when they tried to steal the officers' guns and escape, police told BBC Telugu. The 27-year-old victim's charred remains were discovered last Thursday - leading to outrage and protests over alleged police inaction.
The hashtag, #JusticeForDisha (Disha being the name given to the victim) started trending on Twitter. The father of the woman killed felt that 'his daughter's soul would be at peace now. Many took to Twitter and Facebook to applaud the police, saying they "delivered justice".
The mother of a student who died after being gang-raped on a bus in capital Delhi in 2012 has also hailed the killing. "I am extremely happy with this punishment. Police have done a great job," she told ANI news agency. A BBC Telugu reporter Satish Balla, reporting from the spot of the killings, said approximately 2,000 people have gathered, causing a huge traffic jam. Vehicles have come to a standstill on the highway, where people are shouting "hail the police". At the scene of the encounter, people earlier showered the police with rose petals and distributed sweets, our reporter added.
But a few have also questioned the police's version of events.
The Hyderabad Encounter Speculation
Prakash Singh, a retired police officer and a key architect of police reforms, told the BBC that the killings were "entirely avoidable". "Abundant caution should be taken when people in custody are being taken to the court or the scene of the crime," he said. "They should be secured, handcuffed and properly searched before they are taken out. All kinds of things can happen if the police are not careful." But Mr Singh said it was too early to say if the incident was an extrajudicial killing - popularly known as an "encounter killing".
Congress leader and Lok Sabha member Shashi Tharoor said extra-judicial killings were not acceptable. "Agree in principle. We need to know more, for instance, if the criminals were armed, the police may have been justified in opening fire preemptively. Until details emerge we should not rush to condemn. But extra-judicial killings are otherwise unacceptable in a society of laws," Shashi Tharoor tweeted.
BJP leader Kapil Mishra said this was the "correct" way to deal with the rapists and hoped other states would take cue from the Hyderabad Police.
A common criticism for the actions of the police in the Hyderabad encounter though is that " The accused never got a fair trial, in fact, they got no trial. The law states that one is innocent until proven guilty, where was their chance to prove it?"
Another question that has surfaced is that - "Will we ever get to know beyond reasonable doubt that the four men shot dead by Hyderabad police were the real perpetrators, or were they just men picked up to show how fast the crime was solved? All four men belonged to the economically weaker sections of society, where the murder of them wouldn't stir up controversy."
Many believe that the entire Hyderabad encounter was a setup, either to prove that the police were efficient and quick or to get out of court trials altogether because perhaps the men killed, weren't the real criminals.
While this is all just pure speculation, people are still not willing to support the actions of the Police. On the other end, there are a lot of people who are satisfied with the decision and believe "this is what should happen to rapists." We cannot decide who is right or wrong, but one thing we can say for sure is that celebrations are in order on a large scale.
What do you think? Is this another political orchestration, or a genuine moment of celebration?