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May 13, 2019 |

Rape of Justice

In January 2018, the brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old Kathua girl shocked the state. The most obnoxious part in that horrible crime was how politics was played over the incident that even shamed humanity. Initially, the dispossessed Gujjar Bakerwal family (of the victim) had hardly any supporters to fight for the justice of their little girl whose suffering before her tragic end is hard and painful to describe. Only after the media trial was the case highlighted to the proportion it deserved. The frame of reference back then for many was the notorious 2012 Delhi gang rape case that led to the change of rape laws in India. But in the state, it evoked strong reaction as in many infamous and similar cases, justice could not be administered. Not long ago, in April, in another shocking incident a girl from north Kashmir’s Bandipora committed suicide after being allegedly raped by her father repeatedly. An editorial that appeared on April 15 in this newspaper and titled “Crime and Punishment” attempted to highlight the failures of conventional justice system in cases like the alleged rape of the girl by her father, Uri and Kathua rape and murders. Yet, the cry for justice waned and the din was lost after few days or weeks till all seemed normal in the state. On Saturday and Sunday (May 11, 12) the cry for justice has again attained the highest pitch with the shocking rape of a three-year-old girl. As condemnations poured in, in the last couple of days, people seem to be at crossroads while trying to comprehend the moral abyss in which the state has plummeted. There are more dilemmas and angst harboured by a large section of people who are trying to find even a semblance of justice. Some of the dilemmas are quite new – for instance there are clear court directions that the rape victim’s name an identity be concealed, particularly during media trials. The most unfortunate thing that has been exposed in the rape of the minor is how irresponsibly some people have given away the identity of the victim, particularly on social media. To mobilize opinion is one thing, but there are red lines that cannot be crossed. For Likes, Shares and Comments some people shamelessly (even if they are unaware) give away the identity of a victim, thereby inflicting the victim and the family further. As the editorial on April 15 pointed out, the call of the people shocked and angered over the incident is the call of street justice, which in fact has its merits. But the question is how long does the cry for justice reverberate? Without naming anyone, the justice has to be administered in all these notorious cases – they are all victims, no greater or no less. Besides, it is foolish to draw comparisons. Let the guilty in all cases receive exemplary punishment, to satisfy the conscience of humanity.

 

 

 

 

 

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May 13, 2019 |

Rape of Justice

              

In January 2018, the brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old Kathua girl shocked the state. The most obnoxious part in that horrible crime was how politics was played over the incident that even shamed humanity. Initially, the dispossessed Gujjar Bakerwal family (of the victim) had hardly any supporters to fight for the justice of their little girl whose suffering before her tragic end is hard and painful to describe. Only after the media trial was the case highlighted to the proportion it deserved. The frame of reference back then for many was the notorious 2012 Delhi gang rape case that led to the change of rape laws in India. But in the state, it evoked strong reaction as in many infamous and similar cases, justice could not be administered. Not long ago, in April, in another shocking incident a girl from north Kashmir’s Bandipora committed suicide after being allegedly raped by her father repeatedly. An editorial that appeared on April 15 in this newspaper and titled “Crime and Punishment” attempted to highlight the failures of conventional justice system in cases like the alleged rape of the girl by her father, Uri and Kathua rape and murders. Yet, the cry for justice waned and the din was lost after few days or weeks till all seemed normal in the state. On Saturday and Sunday (May 11, 12) the cry for justice has again attained the highest pitch with the shocking rape of a three-year-old girl. As condemnations poured in, in the last couple of days, people seem to be at crossroads while trying to comprehend the moral abyss in which the state has plummeted. There are more dilemmas and angst harboured by a large section of people who are trying to find even a semblance of justice. Some of the dilemmas are quite new – for instance there are clear court directions that the rape victim’s name an identity be concealed, particularly during media trials. The most unfortunate thing that has been exposed in the rape of the minor is how irresponsibly some people have given away the identity of the victim, particularly on social media. To mobilize opinion is one thing, but there are red lines that cannot be crossed. For Likes, Shares and Comments some people shamelessly (even if they are unaware) give away the identity of a victim, thereby inflicting the victim and the family further. As the editorial on April 15 pointed out, the call of the people shocked and angered over the incident is the call of street justice, which in fact has its merits. But the question is how long does the cry for justice reverberate? Without naming anyone, the justice has to be administered in all these notorious cases – they are all victims, no greater or no less. Besides, it is foolish to draw comparisons. Let the guilty in all cases receive exemplary punishment, to satisfy the conscience of humanity.

 

 

 

 

 

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