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How police act and media cover murder and rape of poor in India?

Image Courtesy: Dailymail
Image Courtesy: Dailymail

Dingarheri (Tauru/Nuh): The mood in the Dingarheri village surrounded by green fields, looking greener after heavy rains, is gloomy. Hundreds of people from dozens of nearby villages under Tauru police station in the newly carved Nuh district of Haryana are gathered in front of the two small one-room houses of the 65-year-old Zahuruddin whose family lost all it had during the terrible night of 24-25 August 2016.

About half a dozen men enter the room where Zahur’s son Ibrahim and his wife Raseedan are asleep. They tie Ibrahim (40) and Raseedan (36), loot their belongings and then mercilessly beat them to death with sticks, rods and knives.

Hearing their cries, Zahur’s son-in-law Zafruddin and his wife, sleeping a few meters away on the charpoys in the open, rush to the room. Both of them are badly thrashed. Zafar is in a critical condition. He has been shifted to the Trauma Centre of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.

Zafar’s three children besides his elder brother’s 12-year-old daughter slept in another room. To their shock, these children – two of them girls – between the age 10 to 19 are not only beaten and stabbed but are also repeatedly gangraped. One of the children calls out his grandfather Zahuruddin, who lives about half a km away, after the perpetrators leave.

The news spreads in the morning and people from the surrounding villages of Nuh and other districts of Mewat throng the spot of the crime shell-shocked.

Four days pass and the story remains unreported in the so-called national media. Although few Hindi dailies report the incident in their regional additions, the city-centric news television channels remain oblivious: thanks to the hollow claims of a vibrant, vigilant media. Zahur’s nephew Arif says that electronic media has been avoiding to cover the incident for reasons better known to them.

Maulana Mohammad Asrarul Haque Qasmi, Member of Parliament from Kishanganj Lok Sabha Constituency of Bihar visited the village on 28 August to take stock of the situation after being approached by dozens of residents of different places of the Mewat region.

The MP, while urging people to stand for justice for the grieved family, said that the incident was not with any particular family or community but with humanity itself.

“The only thing I demand”, said a distressed Haque “is that justice should be done”.

Haque commended the people of Haryana in general and of the Mewat regional in particular for their simplicity, humble and humanistic attitude and peaceful living. He said that the anguished faces of the people of all communities gathered were an assertion of their hope and faith in the Indian democracy and the law of the land.

Maulana Hakimuddin Ashraf Utawari, General Secretary of Jamiat Ulama, District Gurgaon and Mewat, said, “Whoever has committed this inhuman crime should be given strongest punishment.”

While interacting with the people, this correspondent is informed that Haryana Government has so far given no compensation to any of the victims, which is shocking. The Haryana Waqf Board, however, has announced to give one lakh rupee each to the family of the dead and fifty thousand each to those seriously injured.

Zafruddin, one of the critically injured has been shifted to the Trauma Centre of AIIMS, New Delhi, while three others, who are also badly injured, are being treated in a city hospital in Nuh.

It is surprising as to why the injured victims who could help identify the culprits are not being shifted to either AIIMS or Medanta or any other major hospital in New Delhi or Gurgaon falling within the 80-90 km radius of Tauru.

As far as arrest and identification of the perpetrators is concerned, when this correspondent tried to contact the Mewat SP there was no response. However, the DSP of Tauru informed that the police were trying to identify the perpetrators.

Ugliness and intensity of the crime has sent shock waves throughout the region. The brutal manner with which the murder and rape have been executed makes one shudder. Anger and fear were writ large on people’s faces. Pradeep Singh Zaildar, General Secretary of Haryana Pradesh Congress calls the dual murder and gangrape “bigger than the Nirbhaya case”. Once the perpetrators are identified, they should be tried under the fast track court, demands Zaildar.

This incident also raises serious questions especially about the role of the electronic media in raising the voices of the poor and the wronged.

The impunity with which serious crimes like rape and murder are being committed in Haryana or elsewhere makes us all pose and think about the so-called vigilant police and state administrations’ tall claims of a crime free nation where women enjoy as much liberty as men do. However, the everyday cases tell a different story. At least the horrible Dingarheri incident denies the police claim.

Postscript: News came while writing this report that four people allegedly involved in the Dingarheri dual murder and gangrape have been arrested.

(Manzar Imam is a freelance journalist based in New Delhi. He can be reached at [email protected])

Courtesy: ummid.com

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