Keenan And Rueben’s Murder, Weak Eve Teasing Laws, And Mute Spectators

Posted on November 6, 2011 in Society

By Ishaan Mukherjee:

A routine casual dinner with friends turned into a nightmare for Keenan Santoas and Rueben Fernandez on the 20th of October, 2011.

After dining with 5 other friends at the Amboli bar and restaurant, the group of 7, which included 3 girls, headed to a nearby paan shop at around 10:30 pm. A passer by and drunkard, later identified as Jitendra Rana passed cheap comments and rude remarks at the girls of the group and purposely made sexual advances towards Priyanka Fernandes, girlfriend of Keenan Santos.

(Extreme Right) Reuben Fernandez and (second from Left) Keenan Santos

Keenan and Rueben stood up for the girl’s safety and intervened, little did they know that it would bring their lives to an end. Rana left after a heated argument, threatening to kill them, only to return with some 20 odd men armed with sticks, knifes and rods.

Keenan and Rueben were stabbed to death by the men, as many Mumbaikars became mute spectators to the event. The incident reminds us of how easy it is for the anti-social elements of the society to over-power the common man, as the two brave hearts of Mumbai fought till there last breath just to stand against eve teasing by rowdies.

A few days back, it were Keenan and Rueben. Tomorrow it can be you and me.

Why do we live in fear at all? Do we really have to go through this?

Police, however, did manage to arrest the four main accused, who were then booked under IPC sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).

It was only after the media pressure that all the 21 people who were part of the salvage killing were arrested. Even after the immediate arrest of the main accused, the question of justice being delivered still remains.

The case started with that of eve-teasing, however, none of the accused have been booked under charges of the same. India, having the bulkiest constitution and one the most detailed-interpreted law, there is no provision clearly stating eve-teasing as crime in India. Irony?

Eve teasing is a euphemism used in India and sometimes for public sexual harassment or molestation of women by men. Considered a problem related to delinquency in youth, it is a form of sexual aggression that ranges in severity from sexually suggestive remarks, brushing against a woman in public places and catcalls to outright groping. Sometimes it is referred to with a coy suggestion of innocent fun, making it appear innocuous with no resulting liability on the part of the perpetrator. Many feminists and volunteer organizations have suggested that the expression be replaced by a more appropriate term. According to them, considering the semantic roots of the term in Indian English, Eve teasing refers to the temptress nature of Eve, placing responsibility on the woman as a tease, as though the aggressive response of the males was normal rather than criminal.

We have over 1000’s of sections explaining various acts for entertainment, tax property etc., but not even one section stating eve-teasing which is a serious menace in our society. However, Section 298 (A) and (B) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sentences a man found guilty of making a girl or woman the target of obscene gestures, remarks, songs or recitation to a maximum jail sentence of three months. Section 292 of the IPC clearly spells out that showing pornographic or obscene pictures, books or slips to a woman or girl draws a fine of Rs. 2000 with two years of rigorous imprisonment for the first offender. For a crime as heinous as eve-teasing, which can leave a psychological scar in a victim’s mind, a minimum of 6 months sentence behind the bars should be a must, without eve-teasing being a bailable offence, which it currently is.

India and the youth – we need a wake up to the death of Keenan and Rueben, and realize that it is worse than we thought.

It’s time to amend the Indian Penal Code which defines the various criminal acts. Let’s not let people like Rana take innocent lives who fight for what is right. The first step is to stop being a mute spectator. I am ready to fight, are you?

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wendy silveira

Im born and brought up in mumbai, working in uae. such news is a shocker we have so much of security and respect for women in uae, the law and police take strict action against such eve teasers the brutual murder of keenan and ruben is a shame for the indian government, the goons must not get away so easily, PM must take strict action is it not a question of justice but aslo security of a common man living in India. The police must be made available 24 /7 in all metro and most popular places there are women who leave work at 10:30pm what is the security for such women. Even in croweded buses they snibble their hands all over and we cant do much. This is a sensitive issue that needs a rule and regulation passed for the security and safety of people. It is the duty of the PM and the state minister to ensure that such goons must not get away with ease and we minimise such tragic dead of two brave youths in the future. It is my humble request to the government of India to hang the goons to death. And have introduce liquor permit system in India to erradicate the cheap illegal alcohol bars and restaurants. Secondly to pass a law or a canon for safety and security of women. 24/7 Police security in crowded and in each metro areas. We need government of India to safeguard the citizens from such goons and to punish such goons without any mercy. Condolences to the family of Keenan and Ruben. Anna Hazare where are you please take our requests boldly we need action and security in whole of India.

venecia dsouza

we need the indian government to react and not just lay the case over and delay. The Facts and evidence are all present rather than just having such goons get away of their sinful and awful act. It is time to create protection plan for the security of women of indian and also the younger youths. Hiring more police and special force in all areas of the regions and cities. Banning of cheap bars and restaurants. Introducing liquor permit systems

We have already began losing truth and faith in the indian government, the corruption level has never dropped and we are being taxed for what we dont get even security to move freely with friends. Keenan and Ruben had to even sacrifice their lives is a murder of two innocent youths so easy in India, why do we leave the country and seek security, better life else where simply bcoz its a shame to live in India with so much of crimes and goons around and no security for women. We live in fear each and every day in Mumbai , even the terrorist attacks have pervailed and things are just getting from bad to worse. PM and state minister please react and grant severe punishment to the goons and imposed new legislations for the security of women and youths.

sonam mittal

this is very shamful for our youth . i know about this story from crime petrol . this story is shoching me . i feel very bad for those mans family
but then if we wake up then the country wake up so say no to eve teasing

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