Delhi Commission For Women Chairperson Swati Maliwal on Friday said the Hyderabad encounter would send out a strong message, but rued that there were still thousands of rape victims, awaiting justice. Four accused of raping and murdering of a 25-year-old woman Hyderabad veterinarian were killed in an alleged exchange of fire with police in the morning.
Maliwal, whose hunger strike entered the fourth day on Friday, said it is obvious that the police will resort to an encounter if the rapists were trying to run away. “Now if the rapists were trying to run away, police obviously will have to do an encounter. That is exactly why we are appealing to the Centre to create a strong system in the country where rapists, especially in such serious cases, are given death penalty within six months after following all due court processes,” she said.
Stressing that there should be certainty and swiftness in punishment in all cases, she said one does not know the circumstances which led to the killings of the four accused of raping the Hyderabad veterinary doctor.
“Whether they were actually trying to run away or the police was so fed up thinking that while we have caught the culprits, it will take several years to punish them... “Maybe they were angry and they did not want them to live off taxpayers’ money,” she said.
She said “there are thousands of ‘Nirbhayas’ (a name coined by Indian media to refer to rape victims), who are still awaiting justice”.
“At the end of the day, there will be a strong message and people will feel justice was done. We want this country to run through a system, “she said.
The four men were arrested on November 29 for allegedly raping and killing the 25-year-old woman by smothering her and later burning her body. The police said that when they were at the crime scene, the accused atttacked them and snached their weapons. The incident triggered country-wide outrage with thousands of people across the country protesting against the case.