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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Hyderabad ‘encounter’: Some celebrate, some criticise in Pune

“Both Unnao rape case and the Hyderabad police encounter are representative of the abject failure of the overall justice delivery system...,” said Kiran Moghe, secretary, All India Democratic Women’s Association.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune | Updated: December 7, 2019 1:07:00 pm
Hyderabad rape murder case, Hyderabad rape accused killed in police encounter, hyderabad rape case, pune city news Onlookers gather near the encounter site, where four accused in the rape-and-murder case of a 25-year-old woman veterinarian were shot dead by police, at Shadnagar of Ranga Reddy district in Hyderabad, Friday. (Photo: PTI)

Mixed reactions were witnessed in the city on Friday to the ‘police encounter’ at Hyderabad where four accused in the rape and murder of a 27-year-old veterinary doctor were killed. While Patit Pawan Sanghatana celebrated it by bursting crackers and distributing sweets at Bal Gandharva Rang Mandir Chowk, several organisations condemned the police action.

“Both Unnao rape case and the Hyderabad police encounter are representative of the abject failure of the overall justice delivery system…,” said Kiran Moghe, secretary, All India Democratic Women’s Association.

She said that the Justice Verma Committee had recommended not just changes in law but also fundamental reforms in the police, judiciary and the administration, “all of which have been systematically ignored by the elected representatives”. “It is they who are now clamouring for and endorsing mob lynching and encounters. This has enabled the police with a free hand and has conveniently diverted from the accountability of the different parts of the system. There is also a deep class bias…,” Moghe said.

Manisha Gupte, coordinator of Mahila Sarvangeen Utkarsh Mandal, said the killing was a condemnable act. “Of course the rape accused deserved to be punished but the guilty also have the right to a fair trial. Once they are done away with, there is no way to prove their guilt,” she said.

Human rights activist Adv Aseem Sarode too pointed out that the Hyderabad police encounter should not be justified. “While the emotional reactions are understandable, it is important to ensure the proper enforcement of due process of law. Should our courts shut down then? Society endorsing such encounters and garlanding this kind of police excesses is dangerous for a democracy,” Sarode said.

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