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Millennium Post

Punish the guilty, not the protestors

As the  condition of the 23-year-old girl gangraped in a moving bus last Sunday continues to be critical, this weekend saw the police lathi-charge and use tear gas on those protesting against the incident and demanding punishment for the rapists and future security for the women.  Though senior political and administrative figures have been in touch with the girl’s family to ensure proper treatment for her and the police have arrested the accused, public sentinments continue to be high and understandably so. Some senior political heads have also met the protestors and assured them that steps will be taken in this regard, but given the emotive nature of the issue at hand, the brute force used by the police on the protestors has generated a fair outcry. At a time when public sentiments are anyway against the police for failing to make the city a safer place for women, such force against protestors can only add to the distrubence.  

Girls in the city of Delhi do not feel safe any longer. This is inspite of there being a Congress-led UPA government in power led by powerful women such as the UPA chairperson and the chief minister of Delhi. Every year the police seem to go lax around Diwali time and their is a spurt in crime that lasts up to new year and beyond. Every year numerous women get raped or beaten at the beginning of the cold season. Every year the police brutally crack down on the protestors. What then is the purpose of the large police force that is stationed in Delhi if it percecutes the innocent and let criminals get away. Many of the real culprits who have perpetuated similar crimes in the past three years seem to have gotten away. So what is the use of announcing the setting up of fast track courts of law. The whole law and order situation in the city of Delhi stinks. Especially vulnerable are the city’s young student population, thousands of whom land here every year to study or make a career.

The above incident has led to the usual outrage and protest and the Delhi police has already arrested three people and detained a few more. Police has also promised better vigilance. The state government is also mooting a proposal to set up fast track courts to bring justice to victims of such crimes. But that’s not enough. The punishment should be exemplary, so harsh that if anything, only that could act as a deterrent.
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