Akshay Thakur, 31, Pawan Gupta, 25, Vinay Sharma, 26, and Mukesh Singh, 32, were hanged at 05:30 AM on March 20, 2020, giving closure to the family of a young medical student who was gang-raped and tortured on a moving bus in Delhi in 2012.
Recollect what happened on that appalling night on December 16, 2012, to realize how the culmination of the justice process was a just one:
“[…] drunk men dragged Nirbhaya to the rear of the moving bus and took turns to rape her. As she fought back, one of the attackers – a juvenile – inserted a rusted, L-shaped rod – used with a wheel jack – into her private parts, pulling and ripping her intestines apart. Her medical reports later revealed that she had septic injuries on her abdomen and genital organs also.
Done with the savagery, the attackers then threw her out of the moving bus and even tried to run the vehicle over the half-naked blood-soaked woman…”
Appalling as it may sound, and while we completely agree with their hanging, the crime —in the current context — can barely be considered “rarest of rare”.
As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, if more than 68 girls and women were raped every day in 2012, the number increased to 91.38 in 2018.
In other words, such cases are no longer ‘rare’ because these gruesome crimes are happening all through the year, every year.
As statistics point out, during that long period (2012-18), while the number of girls raped in India jumped by 33%, India’s most talked-about case kept dragging on under the weight of the sorry state of affairs of the judicial system in India.
No wonder then that celebrities like Preity Zinta took to social media to not only welcome the hanging but also point out that if the hanging was carried out in 2012 itself, the rising cases of murder might have been kept in check.
There, of course, cannot be any method of arriving at that conclusion. However, it is human nature to avoid getting on the wrong side of a ruthless law-enforcing agency/administration. Test the theory in Singapore, if you must.
The most common and largely rational argument against capital punishment is that sooner or later, innocent people will get killed, because of “mistakes or flaws in the justice system”; and that where capital punishment is used such mistakes cannot be put right.
But then, while long processes like that in the Nirbhaya case invariably take every possible precaution, “mistakes or flaws in the justice system” can also result in the most brutal rapist and/or killer to escape the clutches of law — and even get a sewing machine and cash from a slimy chief minister.
The idea should be to get a Nirbhaya Case justice process done as early as possible.
Every step that was taken in this extremely thorough process needs to be fast-tracked. Of course, some steps can’t happen any faster. But most can be. And that’s what needs to be done. Today.
Else, be prepared for either the number of rapes crossing 100 per day or people showering flowers on Hyderabad police after they eliminate the brutal rapists “who were trying to run away from the police custody”.
Again, we wholeheartedly support the hanging of the four in the Nirbhaya case. It was a just culmination of the process of law.