The Bhopal police recently took the bold step of shaming rapists by publicly parading them. Aditi Jayakar Kane reaches out to celebs and citizens to find out whether it’s a healthy trend or not.
There’s little doubt
that sex crimes have reached epidemic proportions in India, causing us pain, horror and anger every day, besides face loss world over. On several panel discussion and talk shows, citizens have expressed frustration that the present law and order system of the country is falling grossly short to check these crimes, and that it’s time the country instilled swifter, harsher punishments.
Incensed perhaps with the same sentiment, in a recent gangrape case, the Bhopal police meted out unique treatment to the accused. The four accused were paraded publicly, with women being allowed to publicly assault them…
The victim, a 20-year-old girl student, was abducted and gang raped in broad daylight by her college senior and his friend. The victim told the police that Shailendra Singh, 21, asked her to sit on his bike and when she refused, he snatched her mobile phone. While pleading with him to return her phone, he forced her to sit on his bike and rode to a friend’s room. In the room, Shailendra’s three friends - Dheeraj Rajput, 26, Sonu Dangi, 21, and Chiman Rajput, 25 - were already present. While Shailendra and Dheeraj took turns to rape her, the other two kept guard at the door. The victim was threatened that she and her family would be killed if she told anyone, but eventually she broke down before her parents at home. The parents filed a complaint and the accused were arrested. All four confessed to the crime and were charged under Sections 376, 376D, 365, 342, 506, 323 and 34 of IPC.
“I think the police were too light on the rapists. They should have castrated them! Rapists think they can rape and do whatever they want!” — Prahlad Kakar
“Every crime is a crime against society. Whether it is an economic crime or a physical crime. ” — Kranti Sathe
The deplorable incident follows barely five months after the gang rape of a student by four slum dwellers in Bhopal. In the shocking incident, the police had refused to file an FIR and the father of the rape victim himself finally caught the rapists and dragged them to the cops, leaving the city in shock and anger. After facing severe flak for the way the case was handled, CM of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh
Chouhan, issued an ultimatum to the cops to ‘perform or perish’.
Whether to regain the confidence of the masses or to send out a strong message, this time ‘round, the Bhopal police acted with no mean leniency. The four rapists were paraded through the streets barefoot, while women onlookers physically assaulted them along the way. They were also made to do sit ups and apologize for the crime.