People across the country have erupted in celebration and near-euphoria. Why? Because, with the morning tea, people were served news of the Telangana killings. The Telangana police, now uplifted to the status of national heroes, had ‘encountered’ the four emaciated, glazed-eyed feral man-boys, exactly at the spot where they had allegedly raped and burnt a young woman alive a few days ago. A population seething with anger now feels it has been avenged. That the brutality that was making them question themselves and the state of the nation and society has been eradicated.
That our collective conscience had been cleared—even as another girl died in her hospital bed, her body burnt 90% by her rapists, out on bail. From Nirbhaya’s mother to woman parliamentarians, lawyers among them, a lot of people are hailing the encounter of the four ... yes ... suspects. They were yet to become accused. No court of justice would get to see the evidence to convict them. There is no way to know if justice has really been delivered. No scope now for a new revelation like with the Ryan International School murder, where the accused changed from a poor school bus conductor to a senior student.
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Had the four not been from the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid, and from Banjara Hills of Hyderabad or Jor Bagh of Delhi, would the cops have acted the same way? Would not a battery of expensive lawyers have come to defend the accused? And that is how it should be, lest we forget. The collapse of the criminal justice system seems to have led people to believe they can now take over, mete out mob justice themselves like in the middle ages, or allow the cops to bypass the system. No, extra-judicial killings do not bring justice to the woman who was violated. It is in a way another rape. Of the law. An attractive one that helps the already dysfunctional system hide its failure.