In the name of justice

The four suspects in the Hyderabad rape case have been killed by the police. Most people, including the parents of the victim, have applauded the police action. Justice has been delivered, and the case is closed. But in the mindset of the Left and Right, binaries are being created about the role of police in killing the alleged suspects (Hyderabad vet rape-murder: Law did its duty, say police after four accused killed in encounter).

The political Left, with its intellectual leaning, believes it was wrong. The political Right cheers police action as justice was not delayed as far as the victim’s family is concerned. In India’s case, I would accept this kind of “street justice,” where the judicial system and the bureaucracy run at its own stagnant pace. Otherwise, the victims and the families suffer. Take the case of the Unnao rape victim, who was burnt and killed while on her way to the court to expect justice.

Justice in this country is beyond the proverbial case of “justice delayed is justice denied.” Here, it is seldom delivered in cases of rape and violence against women. And if given, it is rarely executed. The accused, who were sentenced to death in the 2012 Nirbhaya case, are still unpunished. And in the Kathua rape case, the culprit is totally off the radar.“Justice” by the police is not the right thing to do in a democratic setup. But if the judicial system fails, this is the way to see justice to give solace to both the victims and the families. However, it is not the case either that the police are corrupt and can be trusted. But neither is the judiciary. What do we do?

Politicising the rape issue with Left and Right ideological commitments often emerge. In this political mix-up, headlines make the scene. Speeches and statements drum up. Anger, frustrations, and emotions ventilated. Slogans are raised, “hang them, shoot them.” Protests are organised, candles are lit. Articles are written and poetry composed. Social media is flooded with outrage. And a lot more expressed, discussed, and debated. Meaningful but helpless expressions become just rituals, continue for a few days, remain dormant, and then come back when another news of national shame breaks out. The cycle is renewed and rerun.

In its response, can the nation go beyond this emotional cry with political overtones of the Left and the Right? The ideological politics is not the solution to tackle pressing social issues of rape and violence against India’s women, but let science, professionalism and realities take over.Who are rapists? Medical and psychological investigations can reveal the symptoms of behaviour disorder of sex offenders. It is an escalating disease. The seriousness of the disease and its spread must be of utmost concern for the nation’s medical community, especially in the faculty of psychology and related faculties, along with social scientists to deliberate on all aspects of the rape culture. After all, in this environment, the entire nation is the victim too. – Promod Puri


Leave aside what was really planned and executed by the Hyderabad police. The following questions are worth noting. The human rights commission has mutedly commented that this order must have come from a court. Courts cannot expedite a judgement – it takes a long time and brutal rapes continue to happen. How do we stop them? Even after a court verdict, the convicts enjoy the hospitality of jails for several years, such as the Nirbhaya or Unnao cases.

The point on which human right activists should ponder is are you not concerned about the human rights of the rape victim? Did she not have the right to live a normal life? You especially consider the rights of the criminal who are encountered. The law has been framed for the people, and the people are happy. That is the real intent of laws. – Kantichand Rampuria


The killing of four rape accused by the Hyderabad police in “self defence” defies all manuals and norms prescribed for police encounter. Unable to face public anger, the police took over the role of the judiciary and pronounced its own sentence. Even though the rape and murder accused deserved the rarest of rare punishment, but these Taliban-style dictates are unjustified in a society governed by the law of the land. We need to revisit the judiciary for delivery of justice and not quick-fix solutions. – Anil Vinayak


Killing an accused in an encounter is of course a mafia-style of justice, whether it be by an underworld king or law enforcement. Where is lawfulness when you have to ignore legality and act on emotions? Though public emotions are on the side of the encounter, in a democracy like ours – which respects the rules of law and punishment – encounters have to be avoided. Public outrage and demand to put the accused down has led to the incident. Ultimately, everyone has to introspect where the actual cause lies and start working to fix it. These encounters do not stop the ongoing rapes and crimes against women in any way. – Shashidhar Vuppala


Miscellaneous comments

I went through your article on the Citizenship Amendment Bill and it is a good one (Explainer: How exactly does India’s Citizenship Amendment Bill discriminate against Muslims?). Initially, when I learnt about the pan-India NRC plan, I was skeptical about how it would be implemented and whether it was required or not. In an interview, I saw home minister Amit Shah say that only non-Muslims were being persecuted, so they are allowing only non-Muslims. This statement is true in the sense that we do come across news from Pakistan and Bangladesh about people being killed because of their blasphemy laws.

But I had not known about or thought of the Rohingya Muslims and Sri Lankan Tamils. In the case of Rohingyas, I think they prefer Bangladesh. In the case of Sri Lankans, they could be included but do they want to come to India? I know some people who personally know Tamils from Sri Lanka who do not want to come to India.

One erratum I would like to point out is that it can be said Afghanistan does not share a land border with India only if POK is not counted. As per the Indian government’s stand, irrespective of which party is at the Centre, POK has always been part of India. So Afghanistan does share land border with India. Anyway, the article was good. I mostly agree about it being a political advantage for the BJP, but every party does that. Keep the articles coming. – J Sreepati Rao


This is to tell you that I am an avid reader of the articles and content published on I have always appreciated the quality of journalism and variety of topics that you cover. However, I would like to draw your attention to a recent article (One sport, one venue: Why Hockey India keeps going back to Bhubaneswar for all major events). I was left aghast after reading this article. It reeks of propaganda and influenced opinions, which is very unlikely to be seen in any other posts on your website.

I would like to highlight certain areas where the ignorant and elitist writer goes way beyond his literary freedom and visualises a future where the present chief minister, who is apparently ill according to this offensive piece of so-called journalism, isn’t the CM anymore. It would horrendously lead to apathy of the next chief minister and he/she would not support any such events in Odisha. I would like to warn the writer that we Odias are not such a scheming race and we keep politics away from such events. I support none of the political parties but have closely seen all major party leaders, so I can safely say that future of hockey is in safe hands.

The writer goes on to say that interested and budding players have to travel all the way to Bhubaneswar to watch the match. I believe this person is passively looking down on my state’s infrastructure. There are two airports in Odisha in Bhubaneswar and Jharsuguda, and more are in pipeline. I take offense at the blatant disregard towards national unity and sportsmanship. Odisha has groomed many players for the mens’ and womens’ hockey team. The ill-informed writer can perhaps go back to school and study this. Odisha Government is the principal sponsor for both the national teams. There are many places in India where it could have been organised but if a poor tribal state like Odisha gets a chance to shine twice in eight years, perhaps it should happen without such snide remarks. The writer must and should apologise to all Odias publicly for hurting the sentiments. – Mallhar Mohapatra


I am a proud vegetarian by choice because eating meat and animal products is cruel, given the unsanitary conditions in which animals are kept in industrial, unorganized poultries and slaughterhouses (From Ramayana to the scriptures, it’s clear India has a long history of eating meat). Meat eating also significantly adds to greenhouse gas emissions and is unsustainable. My four-year-old son is a vegetarian since birth and has smashed all developmental milestones with aplomb, so please stop propagating and supporting murder of animals and get with the global vegan revolution. – Kalu Lohar