Spontaneous citizen outrage over a crime that affects the society in which we live in is quite natural. What happened in Hyderabad, and the crime is horrible and the perpetrators should be punished after a fair trial in the strictest of ways. If (and if) it is ‘these’ four men are the ones that committed the crime, what they did was gruesome and is highly condemnable. Am I angry? Yes, absolutely.
But who are the ones that committed this crime? Is it these four men? Is it proven beyond doubt? Has it gone through adequate scrutiny? Are these four men the ‘real’ criminals? Are there more? Are there less? Is it no nobody else that committed the crime? Or have police picked up ‘some’ four random people so that they can assuage the public anger? Can we be sure?
Which is why we have judiciary, courts, and law. I am aware that our judicial system is so time-consuming to bring the culprits to book. Then there is this whole thing of what punishment good enough? Should it be a lifetime in jail or hang to death? Then there are those who will be lynched to death or killed in the jail by ‘other inmates’.
What worries me is this. These encounters much as they seem believable, are staged. These are being normalized and settled to quench public anger. Staged encounters are pure cold-blooded murder. The cops that kill take shelter under their positions of power and political patronage. They take advantage of the same judicial laxity. No developed country where the rule of law exists will allow the encounter to happen.
Moreover the dubious roles in many a police cases in the country, barely leaves any room for belief on face value. The infamous Ryan International School murder case comes to mind. The police, under tremendous public pressure, claimed to have solved the crime in a matter of days and hurriedly booked and arrested a bus conductor Ashok Kumar as the killer. On 21 September 2017, senior police officer Biren Singh had stated: “Only Ashok has murdered Pradyuman, no other person is involved.”
However, Kumar, through his lawyer, leaked the information to the parents of the murdered child, that he was forced to confess under brutal police torture. This proved lucky for the poor man, as the parents of the murdered child and the public insisted on a CBI inquiry and the real truth eventually came to light.
The CBI later filed a 5000 page charge-sheet in the murder of the 8 year old, charging a class 11 student of the same school, who apparently killed the child in a bid to postpone exams. The agency also said that a separate investigation around the dubious role of Haryana police which caved in under public pressure and tried drawing curtains on the case, will be conducted. A clean chit was given to the school bus conductor Ashok Kumar, who was earlier arrested for murder by the Gurgaon Police.
Those who cheer this encounter are just as lustful for blood as those perpetrators. It is that animal instinct that suppresses rationality and restraint and allows the mind to get carried away by legally and socially deplorable things. In being orgasmic over a staged encounter is not very different from the orgasmic pleasure of the rape perpetrator.
A tweet by ANI, highlights how some people celebrate and cheer for the police at the encounter site.
Hyderabad: People celebrate and cheer for police at the encounter site where the four accused were killed in an encounter earlier today. #Telangana pic.twitter.com/PREKFnRZCi
— ANI (@ANI) December 6, 2019
On the contrary, there were other saner element who erupted on twitter over the alleged fake encounter, highlighting that “Two Wrongs Don’t Make It Right”
Astonishing. Police encounters cannot be normalised like this. We have courts and a legal system for a reason. https://t.co/J8s7EZwQwH
— Nidhi Razdan (@Nidhi) December 6, 2019
Another one, Fayed DeSouza tweeted.
This is not justice. This is the police breaking the law . It’s dangerous. The legal system exists for a reason. https://t.co/5aoSRTLt2I
— Faye DSouza (@fayedsouza) December 6, 2019
This is why in human society, we have rule-of-law. A few that break these laws does not give license for the others to be like them. That is not what a civilized society does. That is what animals do. Maybe one can even argue, animals have a better rule of law than humans.
To normalize a crime with another crime is a crime. Tomorrow, it could be you, me, our child or any of us who can be framed without a fair trial. One may just get into an argument with a local cop, politician or powerful person. All they need to do is the frame you and ‘encounter’ you without trial. Story over. Chapter closed. Not too difficult to frame charges isn’t it? This is how jungle raj goes. Think about it.
Again what happened to Ms. Reddy was abhorrent and the perpetrators need to be brought to book. Staged encounters (I believe this is all staged), are the worse. It is time not to rejoice, but contemplate.
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