Hyderabad Encounter Signifies The Collapse Of Our Collective Faith In Criminal Justice

There are celebrations all around because of the encounter of the four accused in the Hyderabad rape case. But I think this action is more dangerous and requires re-thinking before the celebration. Here’s why:

1. It Signifies The Collapse Of Our Collective Faith In Criminal Justice

People protesting the rape and murder in Hyderabad.

When the police make an arrest, unless your action is proven guilty in the court of law, you are under police custody, and according to our constitution, when you are under police custody, you have the right to state protection. Instead of state protection, if you are killed in the process without any trial, it is called a custodial killing. If we start celebrating custodial killings, it might have far dangerous consequences for us. Where is state protection?

2. Violence Begets Violence

When one form of violence is answered with another form of violence, it just becomes a violent game. Research says, it often does not stop anyone. Political scientists who have tallied the successes and failures of violent and nonviolent movements show that the evidence is piling up that Gandhi was right—non-violence is a better strategy.

In a book ‘Civil Resistance Works, Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan found that about three-quarters of nonviolent movements get some or all of what they want, compared with only about a third of the violent ones. Sr. Martin Luther King said, “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy, instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth”.

3. You Killed The Accused, You Did Not Kill The Rape Culture

A PhD research has interviewed 100 convicted rapists at Tihar Jail in New Delhi post the Nirbhaya incident over three years. Her research finds that most of the men she met there were uneducated; only a handful had graduated high school. Many were third or fourth-grade dropouts. She also writes about the absence of sex education in our Indian education altogether, and therefore, no understanding of ‘consent’.

“When I went to research, I was convinced these men are monsters. But when you talk to them, you realize these are not extraordinary men; they are really ordinary. What they’ve done is because of upbringing and thought process”.

Hence, by killing four men, you did not give any education to the men who needed it; you did not question our culture and practices that perpetuate rape at all.

4. We Need To Fast-track Delivery Of Justice

By killing four men, you did not give any education to the men who needed it; you did not question our culture and practices that perpetuate rape at all.

We need to demand fast delivery of justice, fast-track court proceedings. According to NCRB, 2017, there are 92.9% violence against women cases pending in city courts: a total of 41,302 cases are pending for trial in six district courts of Delhi alone. Are we all falling for an easy way to kill all these 41, 302? We need to demand faster processes from the state machinery, not celebrate their action of killing and keeping all the cases pending.

5. Other Forms Of Violence Against Women:

If killing is the answer to rape, what do I do to the men who stare at us and make us feel uncomfortable, to the men who send unsolicited messages, to the men who pay women less for their work? What exactly are you suggesting?

6. Throwing Flowers At the Police?

It has been reported that the encounter spot at Chetanpally became a tourist spot where people showered the police with flowers and cheered their action. It is the same police who did not register the complaint of the missing person case when the victim’s family approached them. They sent them from one police station to the other; we need to hold our system accountable—not celebrate systemic breakdowns!

It is time we rethink about our celebrations once again. The victim, in this case, was denied the justice of a fair trial in the court of law.

Similar Posts

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below