Killing the rapists.and the due process

My friend is furious that I would detract from the strong message that this has sent to future sex offenders.

By Bikram Vohra

Published: Sat 7 Dec 2019, 7:00 PM

Last updated: Sat 7 Dec 2019, 9:10 PM

Not many people will shed tears over the allegedly self-defense killing of the four suspects in the Hyderabad rape and murder case. Just as there will be few takers who will believe this scenario wherein the four handcuffed and roped suspects were in conspiracy to snatch the weapons from the cops and hatch their escape is credible. If anything, the police should be asked how they could be so clumsy as to lose their weapons to mere amateurs.
My friend is furious that I would detract from the strong message that this has sent to future sex offenders. He writes: "Mr Vohra , such actions by the police are not new. Not in India, not in the Wise West nor anywhere else. Common between cow vigilantes, these cops and mafia dons is the disbelief in the justice system. If the Telengana cops did it, so be it. Don't take us to be idiots to think it will repeated ad nauseum. If I thank God they did it, and pray for a few more pan-India repeats, it's because it should deter future rapists. And over the next few months and repeats, if it does not deter, then hopefully our laws will be amended to get closures quicker and with quality."
I hear him and the echo in the country.
I try to explain that I would volunteer to pull the trigger once proven guilty not suspected of the crime. Also why not now widen the list and add paedophilia, child trafficking, kidnapping all these being heinous acts and deserving of severe punishment.
That the possibility the encounter was convenient and will receive only accolades for ridding the world of these nasties is now a given. A whole nation is celebrating and yet what proof do we have that these four were the truly guilty. The brave cops mowed down all four possible rapists and deserve praise is the core sentiment and that fills me with fear that we so readily accept the slayings as par for the course. For which crimes do we draw the line?
My friend has a point. The law has failed us. Far too often have the guilty got away. It must wake up to its weaknesses. By the same token there is no regret over the killings nor any sympathy for the dead except as in the precedent which has been established.
For the moment suspend your suspicions that the whole thing was orchestrated and literally as well as figuratively executed to calm a law and order situation. What then do we have here? As a father, brother, and husband my first reaction is to serve them right, no sympathy. But then a piercing thought arrows in. Is this the bruising of the democratic due process when an event unfolds in this manner? Should it indict the police for ineptitude not hail them for courage? No one wants to ask how come the police were so incompetent as to let this happen? Instead they are being showered with rose petals.
If I can place emotion aside for a moment then it would have been more satisfying for the courts to find the four guilty, the death sentence imposed, and carried out swiftly but by law not by encounter. A court that fast tracks and delivers sentence , which may be carried out in public, if need be on Prime TV.
This way is frightening.
There is a simple reasoning to it. The police are not killers. They are protectors or so should be. Once they taste that hot, salty blood and are praised for it, where does it stop and how judge and jury be the keepers of the law?
In a nation like India, corrupt police are accepted as an integral part of life. You turn them into free floating vigilantes where does it stop?
The four who were killed surrendered their freedom the moment they murdered the veterinarian doctor. And the right to normal life. But can we allow for that to become the basis for cold-blooded killings once we assume this encounter was staged out of political expediency.
Both you and I know that these four hoods were scarcely professional criminals or hardened enough to take on armed cops after days in custody. The fear then is that because this elimination will echo across the nation with acclaim, we will actually be giving the police a licence to kill.
That is the most disturbing part.

More news from OPINION