Indian police on Friday fatally shot four men accused of raping and killing a woman before setting her body on fire, authorities said.
The suspects were arrested Nov. 29 in connection to the death of a 27-year-old veterinarian whose body was found charred under a bridge.
Police accused the men of raping and strangling the woman before dousing her in diesel fuel and setting her on fire.
Prakash Reddy, deputy commissioner of Shamshabad police near Hyderabad, told reporters the four men were killed in an exchange of gunfire with police as they attempted to steal weapons to facilitate their escape.
“The accused have tried to snatch [the police’s] weapons, and there was cross-fire. In this, all the four accused have died,” he said, adding that two officers were injured.
He said the shooting occurred as the suspects were taken to the scene where the woman was killed in order to reconstruct the crime.
The All India Progressive Women’s Association chastised police for the deaths of the four suspects on Friday, accusing the force of staging the event.
“We, as a country, will now be told that ‘justice’ has been done, the victim avenged. And now we can all go back to business as usual, reassured that our police, our government, our society are righteous and the evil rapists are no more,” the organization said in a statement. “But this justice is counterfeit.”
The group said that their deaths send a message to women that the police cannot ensure the safety of the streets or that survivors will get dignity in the court.
“All they can do is act like a Lynch mob and ask us, the people, to accept lynching as the only possible justice,” the group said.
The shooting comes a day after a 23-year-old woman was set on fire by five men as she walked to court for a hearing concerning her accusation that two of the men had raped her.