Millennium Post

Fast-track justice

In one of the fastest ever delivery of verdicts, a trial court in Mumbai has sentenced four men to life imprisonment till death for gang raping a 19-year-old telephone operator last July. Three out of these four men have also been convicted for gang raping a 23-year-old photojournalist in Mumbai’s Shakti Mills area, thereby attesting to the growing menace of serial rapists, sexual criminals and violence against women. The charge of section 376 E of Indian Penal Code (IPC) has marked them as ‘repeat offenders in a rape case’, an indication of escalated brutality and hostility towards women, despite the spruced up rape laws that came in the wake of Nirbhaya gang rape on 16 December 2012. Following the heinous and fatal incident that shook the nation’s collective conscience, came a string of similarly violent and at times fatal rape cases, in places like Bankura. On the other hand, urbane centres have witnessed high-profile men being charged of rape and sent to jail or undergoing trials. Evidently, cultures of rape cannot be isolated along a rural-urban divide, even though some observers have tried to pick on internal migration and presence of migrant labourers from distant villages as the root cause of increasing sexual violence. However, reductive logic should be judiciously avoided in such delicate cases, even though fast-tracking of justice must be wholeheartedly welcomed.
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