New Delhi: The early morning killing of four men accused in the fatal rape of a Hyderabad veterinary doctor has been largely welcomed on social media and by politicians and celebrities across the country.
The four men were shot dead by the Telangana police in “self-defence”.
Politicians cutting across parties have come out in praise of the police for finally taking action. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said, “When a criminal tries to escape, police are left with no other option. It can be said that justice has been done.”
BSP chief Mayawati too welcomed the police action saying the justice system took too long to give justice to the victims.
BJP MP Uma Bharti tweeted an elaborate thread in which she said, “I can now believe that people sitting in the governance of other states will find ways to teach criminals an immediate lesson.”
1. मैं अभी हिमालय उत्तराखंड में गंगा किनारे हूं, तेलंगाना में महिला वेटनरी डॉक्टर के साथ दुराचरण के बाद हत्या किए जाने की घटना से मैं बहुत दुखी एवं क्षुब्ध थी।
— Uma Bharti (@umasribharti) December 6, 2019
BJP national spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said on ABP News, “Jaise karni, waise bharni. Had they gotten away, then what would’ve happened to the police?”
Critiquing the country’s criminal justice system, AAP’s Sanjay Singh said, “The way in which the people across the country are expressing satisfaction in this matter, it is clear that the country’s criminal justice system has failed and the public’s trust has been lost. If the four accused were trying to escape from the police arrest, then the police had no other option then.”
BJP’s MP Rajyavardhan Rathore congratulated the police, adding a disclaimer the “for holier than thou” that the “police acted swiftly in self-defence.”
Congress’ Alka Lamba emphasised that if justice is not delivered swiftly enough, this is what will happen.
“We must wait and see if killing them like this will put any fear in the mind of the people,” she added.
Baba Ramdev, too, condemned the rapists and celebrated the police action. Calling the accused a ‘kalank’ on our culture, he said on ABP News, “Our police should carry out operations like these on such people. This is the way they should be dealt with. The decision should be on the spot.”
‘Can’t take law into your hands’
Some politicians, however, were more cautious in their reactions. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal told an ABP News reporter “It’s a worrying issue that people have lost faith in our criminal justice system. All governments must come together to better the criminal justice system and investigating agencies.”
BJP MP Maneka Gandhi said, “You can’t take law in your hands, they (accused) would’ve been hanged by Court anyhow. If you’re going to shoot them before due process of law has been followed, then what’s the point of having courts, law and police?”
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor also counseled patience: “We should not rush to condemn until details emerge.”
Congress leader P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram called out encounter killings.
“Rape is a heinous crime. It must be dealt with strictly under the provisions of law. While I hold no brief for the alleged perpetrators of this dastardly act, “encounter” killings are a blot to or system. While I understand the urge for instant justice, this is not the way,” he tweeted.
Speaking on Aaj Tak, social activist Mallika Sarabhai said, “This will not help in reducing rape cases in our country. We have to understand the mentality of the people. Death penalty has never helped anyone. In India, there is no bigger punishment than shame.”
On ABP News, former Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar said, “The truth of what happened will only be found out after an inquiry takes place.”
Bollywood reacted positively to the move with many actors tweeting their approval.
BJP MP Hema Malini said such people did not deserve to live. Actor Anupam Kher, Rishi Kapoor and badminton champion Saina Nehwal tweeted in solidarity with the police.
Congratulations and #JaiHo to #TelenganaPolice for shooting down the four rapists of #PriyankaReddy in an “ENCOUNTER”. चलो! अब जितने भी लोगों ने ऐसा घिनोना अपराध करने वालों के ख़िलाफ़ आवाज़ उठाई थी और उनके लिए ख़तरनाक से ख़तरनाक सज़ा चाही थी, मेरे साथ ज़ोर से बोलो – #जयहो।👏👍
— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPKher) December 6, 2019
Bravo Telangana Police. My congratulations!
— Rishi Kapoor (@chintskap) December 6, 2019
Great work #hyderabadpolice ..we salute u 🙏
— Saina Nehwal (@NSaina) December 6, 2019
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan, who had called for the accused to be lynched just recently in Parliament said, “Der aaye, durust aaye…der aaye, bahut der aaye (It’s better late than never).”
(Inputs from Rohini Swamy)