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Disha rape-murder: Encounter sets dangerous precedence

Investigators can only ‘accuse’, it is the court that decides whether the accusation is ‘valid’

Disha rape-murder: Encounter sets dangerous precedence

Hyderabad: The encounter killing of four suspects, accused of the gang-rape and murder of a Hyderabad veterinarian doctor raises troublesome questions. 

“They fired upon the police team and we retaliated in self-defense,” unidentified officials told PTI. “Two of our men are also injured in the incident.”

Were the accused proved guilty?

The local police claim that the four accused, had tried to flee the site. To believe this, we only have the word of the cops who were present. There is neither any video footage of them fleeing nor any judicial trial so far has taken place. The evidence against the four was still to be put through a judicial process that could have put all proof to legal scrutiny.

Did the police pick the right people?

They weren’t caught committing the heinous crime. That being the case, we now have to believe that the police have arrested the actual perpetrators and not just four people whom they can pin the crime on.

Investigators can only accuse, it is the courts that decide whether the accusation is accurate. Can the police simply pick up men from vulnerable communities and accuse them of the crime in order to assuage public outrage.

The Ryan International murder, for example, in which Haryana Police said a bus conductor, had confessed to murdering a Class 2 student in 2017. When the Central Bureau of Investigation took over the case, however, it said that the conductor had been framed and instead took into custody a Class 9 student, a juvenile, who reportedly murdered the young boy.

Was the police force frail?

The accused had been in custody for a week, one in which there was tremendous scrutiny on the police’s actions. They were not on the run. Were the police so incompetent that when they were being taken to the scene of the crime at 3:30 am the accused was able to get away and get their hands on police weapons?

Not to forget, this case began with the police refusing to file a First Information Report, citing jurisdictional issues and also insisting that something else may have been involved.

“The police spoke to us very rudely, in a disgusting manner. They kept saying she would have gone with someone. I kept saying my daughter is not like that, but they didn’t listen,” the woman’s mother told The NewsMinute.

Her sister also said that the police insisted that the woman had eloped, and did not take the missing person complaint seriously, meaning they did not search the area where she was last seen. If they had, might the woman have been discovered earlier?

The BJP leaders who label the encounter as “justice-delivered” must know this encounter can trigger demands for instant death, without trial, for an MLA of their party in Uttar Pradesh accused of rape. Not to forget men involved in the Kathua rape case. 

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