Hyderabad rape and murder: Unpardonable crime against humanity

Dr Rajshri Shastri

It was Sher Shah Suri, the builder of the Grand Trunk road, who once had summed up satisfactory situation concerning law and order and security by stating that if a beautiful young girl laden with ornaments could walk from one place to another at any time of the day or night, without the thought of either molestation or robbery crossing her mind, he would consider that law and order and security existed in his realm. Today no body, laden with ornaments or just carrying one’s daily wage in pocket, has the feeling of safety.

Despite the poor state of law and order in the country, normal life still goes on as people are too engrossed in fending for themselves and their near and dear ones while the GDP graph of the country plummets and the pinch of the state of economy leaves very little for the general public to turn their attention to in their normal day-to-day routine.

It is most unfortunate that only a crime as gruesome and barbaric as the Nirbahaya and Priyanka Reddy rape case rattles the nation out of slumber but soon every one chooses to turn into a passive spectator. No body is bothered due to policing deficit vis-a-vis VIP security and generalised security.

Reacting to the brutal rape and murder of the veterinary doctor in Hyderabad, a lady wrote on social media” “In the dark when a shadow lurks, men fear it’s a ghost. Women fear it’s men. That remains the truth of India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari” – that’s the scenario even 500 years after the reign of Sher Shah Suri.

The rape and murder of Priyanka Reddy (26) in Hyderabad has left the nation shocked. There is seething anger and outrage. People want harshest punishment for the perpetrators of the heinous crime.

According to the Police, two truck drivers and their cleaners had deflated the tyre of Priyanka two-wheeler that she had parked near Tondupally toll plaza. When she returned from work, the accused approached her on the pretext of helping her. They ambushed, sexually assualted and killed her and took her body in their lorry and burnt her around midnight near Shadnagar culvert on Hyderabad Outer Ring road. The four accused have been arrested and lodged in judicial custody on the basis of CCTV footage and also Priyanka’s mobile.

Priyanka could have been saved if the police had responded promptly when her father approached the police for help. It is an entirely a different matter that three cops, including a sub-inspector were suspended for delay in registering a missing person report.

People are rightly targeting police working. They are also demanding draconian punishment to the perpetrator so that it acts as a deterrent for everyone else. It is also being pointed out that that we as a society do not respect women and that is amply reflected in rampant cases of sexual harassment in offices, on the street, and even within the safe confines of homes. A facebook post says “All of us who have even an iota of concern for the society should resolve to come down heavily with an iron hand whenever we come across sexual harassment cases in our areas of influence.

Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwini Lohani has said on social media: “The incident at Hyderabad is an unpardonable crime against humanity. The rape and subsequent brutal murder of the girl at Hyderabad is disgusting and makes me seethe with anger and hang my head in shame. When will such cases stop. Are we living in a medieval society where people dare to do such acts with impunity. Unless there is a real fear of retribution such cases would keep on happening and we would keep on giving lip service”.

Here is a glimpse of what others are saying on social media:

  • In Hyderabad, had the police acted swiftly; it may have resulted in saving the girl. Sad to see they are shamelessly blaming the victim.
  • Our smart police force is busy in protecting VVIPs and VIPs, they have no time for ordinary citizens. We are left at the mercy of God. It is time that our daughters will have to take care of themselves. Time is not far when middle class will Stop paying taxes for the unruly governance.
  • When will all this stop. It’s disgusting to even read about the incident….How could they…
  • Strong will to decide on pending rape cases quickly will also go long way in cleaning up this mental disorder in our society.

The author, Dr Rajshri Shastri, is Professor of Sociology. Her doctoral research has been acclaimed as an authoritative path breaking work that throws light on Transition among the ethnic Maria community of Bastar in Chhattisgarh State. She is also recognised for her research on “Marriage among the Murias of Bastar”. Dr Shastri has been a social visitor and has studied closely the condition of female inmates in Bhopal Jail. She is a conservationist, and has been a birder for long years.

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