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Hyderabad rape and murder: Unpardonable crime against humanity

Lalit Shastri

It was Sher Shah Suri, the builder of’ the Grand Trunk road, who once expressed what according to him could be regarded as a satisfactory situation concerning law and order and security and he had summed up by saying 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 kingdom. This is what a medieval ruler had expected hundreds of years ago in his realm but with the passage of time, how far we have drifted away and what is the present situation needs hardly any elucidation. Today no body, young or old, beautiful or not so beautiful, 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. Looking deeper into the whole malaise, on the one side is the specter of visible policing, which has populist overtones but less utility, taking precedence over actual policing which involves investigations, control over the movements of bad characters and vigilance over the conduct of anti-socials. The demands of visible policing, generally for the VIPs–for whom the roads have to be lined, traffic has to be controlled, pilots, escorts and warning vehicles have to be marshaled, several layers of security cover has to be mounted on their places of residence, many screening layers have to be provided before any lesser mortal could have an audience eats away all that was once sanctioned for providing security and peace to the common man. Unfortunately the cop attached to the police station lack proper motivation and command and as most often is the case, there’s no briefing as to how they have to act if a situation really arises. This is not something which could really benefit a normal civilian who would prefer some patrolling on the streets at night and some semblance of security during the day so that he could move without the fear of being robbed or without the fear of being crushed under some speeding vehicle or could sleep in peace without the fear of his house being burgled or the fear of girls and women being sexually assaulted and murdered.

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.

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