MOST SHAMELESS THING
Dr K Prabhakar Rao
Delhi at Vijay Chowk has witnessed the public anger after the recent criminal assault on a woman passenger in a bus during the night by a gang of rowdies. The woman is admitted to a hospital where she is battling for life. She has been bold. The police of Delhi claim that they arrested the culprits at different places. After seeing the anger among youth, political parties too joined the chorus for very severe punishments and demanded death penalty for such offenses. We have to see what this govt can do at this stage. This nation has taken years to hang Kasab and another criminal Afzal Guru is being fed chicken and ice cream in jails although he is to be hanged. No one knows how long he will be kept like this. The nation apparently has no commitment to law and order. In fact Delhi has earned notorious name as the crime capital in India particularly against women. Some time ago a foreigner woman was sexually assaulted in Delhi. Many years ago Billa and Ranga created sensation in Delhi when the school going daughtrer of a Naval officer was raped after assaulting her brother and both were killed later. Bapu Jagjivan ram was the Defense minister at that time. This was long ago. But the incident stirred the nation. But as usual the govt slept. Such issues are forgotten. It forgot about the safety of the women in the country and particularly right in Delhi where a woman is the chief administrator of the state. Whenever such incidents take place the leaders who are at the helm of affairs appeal to people to maintain peace and remain calm and that they would make law stringent soon. However no concrete actions take place. Soon things are forgotten and Indian law which is weak bolsters courage among the criminals.
The saddest part is that many of our political leaders themselves are criminals. What we can expect from such stalwarts. In this particular case, the police of Delhi failed to detect crime that was likely to take place and thus crime was committed. Now no action can bring back the honor of the woman. It is not easy to give death penalty in this case to the criminals as the law does not cater for it as murder did not take place. Some time ago a man from Bengal was hanged for the rape and murder of a girl. The men involved in the present crime were drivers, cleaners and rowdy associates. They have no honor for themselves and lead ruffian lives. Such men are danger to the society and such people would be many in this land at every place. It is for the police to keep a track on such people throughout the country. Is it possible? Death penalty is a deterrent in such offenses. There has been article in news paper by a woman rights lawyer ( woman) and she states that death penalty is not the answer. Please read her own concluding words ( 1):-
“In India Rape does not attract capital punishment and even if the law is changed, it can not be applied retroactively to this case.Further if punishment for rape and murder is same, many rapists may kill the victim to destroy evidence. Thus we need more soulsearching answers from our parliamnetarians and experts about how we can make our public places safe for our women.”
The lawyer claims that the rapists could kill the victims after committing crime to erase evidence. This may not happen all the time and the victim could escape after the crime. Her argument is surely not sound. By making the punishment lenient as at present, the rapists are getting bold and are committing such crimes. In many cases, the criminals get Scot free for the lack of evidence. There is no doubt that death penalty has to be imposed for the crime of rape.There is no second thought about this. The govt after the crime as per the news paper report attributed to Home minister Shinde stated that centre would make amendments to criminal laws to seek a effective punishment in the rarest of rare cases of sexual assault including rape. The point to note is what is rarest of rare case of rape (2). Rape is after all a rape. There is nothing like rarest and rare and normal. Should we feel amused at such statements by the home minister? The courts also give lesser punishments if the offenders are young men and in this case the offenders are young persons. It is likely that these offenders get away with lesser punishments.
The uproar of youth in Delhi was heard at Vijay Chowk on 22 Dec, 2012 after the incident. Shamefully the police of Delhi over reacted and used water cannons and made lathi charge on the gathering. Many women and young men were badly hurt. It is the most shameful thing by the police to indulge in violence against the youth are protesting about a genuine incident demanding justice to the victim.In fcat Delhi police is known for over reaction. Ramdeva Babas incident at Delhi some time ago speaks about them. They should have shown great restraint in this case. They behaved as if they will not get a chance like this to wield lathis and get training on use of water cannons.Does it mean that the law enforcing agencies are not concerned about such heinous crime. Do they not belong to the same society? Are their women safe while they are on duty dispersing people who are fighting to stop such crimes. How shameful indeed.The govt looks on pathetically. The govt should immediately order inquiry to the incidents of use of excessive force at Vijay Chowk and punish the erring police officers who had given such orders for lathi charge and use of water cannons against the youth. Can we expect from this govt. Let us Wait and see. Hope this case will not be forgotten like many cases of past including the various scams that are diluted day by day..
1. Flavia Agnes, Rape and Death, Deccan Chronicle,Hyderabad, Sunday 23, 2012, PP 10
2. DC Corrspondent, Rape rage in Delhi, Deccan Chronicle, Hyderabad, Sunday 23, 2012, PP1