The inhuman rape and murder of Dr. Priyanka Reddy near Hyderabad reported 2 days ago had shocked and angered the entire country. However, several other cases of barbaric assault and murders reported from other states in the last few days have given rise to demands death penalty for the culprits in such crimes.
In the case of Dr. Priyanka Reddy, it has been revealed that the culprits planned to accost her and commit the crime. The barbaric way in which her body was burnt after raping her has angered citizens across the country. AP police had arrested 4 accused in the case. The prime accused is Mohammad Pasha and other accused are Naveen, Kesavulu, and Siva.
According to the police, they had pre-planned the crime after following her daily movements near the Tondupally toll plaza where Dr. Priyanaka used to park her two-wheeler. The toll plaza is in the Shamshabad area, considered a Muslim majority area. On the fateful day, they punctured her scooter and offered her help. She had called her sister and informed her of the men who offered to help her after which her phone was switched off. Her burnt body was found a day later under the bridge of the highway. Post-mortem analysis confirmed rape and murder before burning the body.
Another rape in Shamshabad area?
Within a day after the culprits were arrested in Dr. Priyanka’s rape and murder case, another charred body of a 35-year old woman has been found in the same Shamshabad area. The woman’s body was found at a deserted place on Siddulagutta road in Shamshabad area. Her body has been sent to the government hospital for autopsy.
Locals who were returning after watching the shooting of a Telugu movie, noticed the burnt body and informed the police. Though the police have not ascertained if the case is of rape and murder, the condition in which the body was found has given rise to several speculations. The police are yet to arrest anyone in this case but these couple of incidents in the same area has the residents in panic.
Muslim immigrant rapes and murders woman in Kerala
Umar Ali, reportedly from Assam, has been arrested in Kerala for the inhuman rape and murder of a 42-yr old women Perumbavoor near Kochi on 27th. He worked as a laborer in the city and claimed to be from Assam but it is now suspected that he could be an illegal immigrant from Bangladesh. Umar Ali raped the woman and later killed her by smashing her face beyond recognition with a spade. He was arrested based on a CCTV footage from a nearby shop.
This is not the first case involving migrants in Kerala. In 2016, a Kochi law student was brutally rape and murdered by Ameerlul Islam, who also claimed to be from Assam. The brutality of the crime had led to protests against use of migrant laborers in the state.
12 people gang-rape law student in Jharkhand
In Ranchi, a 25-year-old law student has been gang-raped by a group of 12 men who were armed with guns and knives. The incident was reported on 26th November and the way in which the crime was committed has shocked the state. The police have arrested all the 12 accused persons.
The law student was with her friend alongside a road when the culprits overpowered them and abducted her. She was then taken to a nearby brick kiln and gang-raped. Those arrested include Sunil Munda, Kuldeep Oraon, Sunil Oraon, Sandeep Tirkey, Ajay Munda, Rajan Oraon, Naveen Oraon, Aman Oraon, Basant Kachhap, Ravi Oraon, Rohit Oraon and Rishi Oraon. The police have informed the media that the culrpits were booked under sections of IPC, SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Arms Act.
Demand for capital punishment for rapists
Apart from these cases reported over the last few days, another report from Tamil Nadu suggests that a woman has been killed and her body burnt in Kanchipuram. Preliminary investigations say that the woman named Roja was tortured before being burnt with cigarettes and later hanged. The police suspect the hand of her former boyfriend and are on his lookout.
Citizens perturbed over these recent cases of brutality and inhuman behavior are now demanding the culprits be handed the capital punishment. As #JusticeForPriyankaReddy and #JusticeForRoja trended on Twitter over the last 2 days, most netizens have requested the Minister of Women and Child Development Smt. Smriti Irani to take steps to fast track such cases and ensure that they are given death penalty. Citizens have also requested PM Narendra Modi to intervene and ensure death penalty to the rapists to deter others from committing such horrific crimes.
Despite a number of cases of brutal rape and murder reported in the country in the last 2 decades, no convicts of rape have been given the death penalty in India in the last decade and a half. Even if the courts give them a death penalty, the battery of Human Rights Activists and liberal brigade has ensured that they are not given the death penalty and the sentence is converted to life sentence. Dhananjoy Chatterjee was the only man to be given the death penalty for a rape and murder in the country in the last 2 decades. He was hanged for the rape and murder of Hetal Parekh, a 14-year-old school-girl in Kolkatta.
Official statistics suggest that hundreds have been sentenced to death by Indian courts for heinous crimes like murder, rape, assault on minors, etc but have not been executed. Human Rights Activists backed by powerful lawyers had filed about 26 mercy petitions which are pending before the president. These include many from 1992, including those of Khalistani terrorist Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar, bandit Veerappan’s associates, and other criminals.
In June 2012 then president Pratibha Patil commuted death sentences of as many as 35 convicts to life imprisonment. Concerned over such blatant pardon protests erupted in parts of the country demanding that death penalty be given to rapists which will also act as a deterrent. After the brutal rape and death of ‘Nirbhaya’ in 2012, calls for the speedy trial and death penalty for rapists and molesters have been made across the country.