Hyderabad: In a reminder of the 2012 Delhi gang rape case’s ‘Nirbhaya’, the Telangana police has given a young veterinarian who was allegedly raped and murdered by four men in Hyderabad last week the sobriquet ‘Disha’.
The move comes as the police look to safeguard the confidentiality and rights of the victim’s family after her name and pictures were widely reported in the media and social media.
However, more than concealing the deceased woman’s identity, officers expect the name Disha, meaning ‘direction’, to prompt women to seek immediate police help in such situations.
“We also hope the word ‘Disha’ would serve as a guiding case cautioning our officers to promptly attend to a missing person complaint,” said a Cyberabad Police Commissionerate officer who didn’t wish to be named.
The crime committed Wednesday night near Shamshabad toll plaza is close to Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) and falls under the Cyberabad police limits.
The four accused in the rape and murder were sent to 14 day judicial custody Saturday.
‘Media must act responsibly’
The Cyberabad Commissionerate official said the decision to call the woman ‘Disha’ was taken after her parents approached them, citing endless references to their daughter’s name and telecast of her pictures in the electronic media.
“Most of the media houses operating here have been publicly disclosing the identity and other credentials of the Shamshabad rape victim. The continuous telecast of gruesome details of the incident has generated fear, especially among women and their parents,” said a statement from Cyberabad police Sunday, citing Supreme Court orders in this regard.
The court guidelines prohibit disclosure of the identity of rape victims.
“Public is worried, scared and complaining about it. We request the media houses to join hands with us and act with responsibility during this hour,” added the statement, asking the media to refrain from naming the victim.
While Telugu channels were reporting the case with her name, national channels referred to her as Telangana’s Nirbhaya.
The woman of the 2012 Delhi gang rape case, which effected landmark legislative changes, was named Nirbhaya by the media.
CM expresses anguish, CMO names the victim
Breaking his three-day silence on the crime that has enraged people across the country, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao Sunday described the incident as ghastly and expressed his deep anguish. In his statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office, however, the woman was named.
“The CM was upset that the perpetrators of such heinous crimes are living amidst us. He said (VICTIM’S NAME) murder was a gruesome and an inhuman act,” a statement from the CMO said.
Stating that the culprits should be given stringent punishment, the CM decided to set up a fast-track court for a quick verdict in the case.
Rao’s son and IT minister Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao took to Twitter and Facebook to draw Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attention to the case.
In a lengthy post, KTR appealed for amending the Indian Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure so that “anyone who commits such a heinous act of violence on our women and children are given capital punishment without delay and NO option (provided) for review”.
Amend the Indian Penal Code (IPC) & Code of Criminal Procedure (CRPC) so anyone who commits such a heinous act of violence on our women & children are given capital punishment without delay & NO option for review
Time has come to amend archaic portions of our Acts & Laws Sir 3/4
— KTR (@KTRTRS) December 1, 2019
The Telangana police’s latest move comes after Disha’s family alleged that precious time was lost as the police officers at the RGIA Police Station — where they first went to register the complaint — declined to register it citing jurisdiction. They later went to Shamshabad station where the complaint was filed at 3 am Thursday.
The family members also alleged that station officials made improper inferences about their daughter.
Following public outrage over the officials’ dereliction of duties, Cyberabad commissioner V.C. Sajjanar put one sub-inspector and two head constables under suspension, following an inquiry. The commissioner also reminded all the officers of the Cyberabad police to register cases irrespective of jurisdiction whenever a complaint related to cognisable offence is received at their police station.
On Monday, Disha’s case was discussed in Parliament too.