While social media on Friday was in a celebratory mood following the extra-judicial killings of the four accused of raping a 26-year-old veterinarian, some politicians and activists have come out in criticism of the incident.
First among the critics was Aam Aadmi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who called the killings worrisome.
"The rape cases that have come to light of late, people are in anger whether it is Unnao or Hyderabad, so people are expressing happiness over the encounter," he said.
"It is also something to be worried about, the way people have lost their faith in the criminal justice system. Together all the governments will have to take action on how to strengthen criminal justice system," Kejriwal told reporters.
Yet Kejriwal was not the only one. Taking to Twitter, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor also condoned extrajudicial killings. "We need to know more, for instance, if the criminals were armed, the police may have been justified in opening fire preemptively. Until details emerge we should not rush to condemn. But extra-judicial killings are otherwise unacceptable in a society of laws," he tweeted.
Agree in principle. We need to know more, for instance if the criminals were armed, the police may have been justified in opening fire preemptively. Until details emerge we should not rush to condemn. But extra-judicial killings are otherwise unacceptable in a society of laws. https://t.co/BOMOjCYrb1— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) December 6, 2019
Activist Yogendra Yadav also took to Twitter and wrote, "No matter how heinous the crime, once we accept "encounter" as a solution, we give up the hope of rule of law".
pointed out the instead of "exulting over #EncounterNight, amongst them people who have lost faith in the slow court system and bad prosecution", the incident needed to be seen as a "wake up call" to implement certain changes: "1. Appoint more judges and police, after assessing them with gender orientation. 2. Strengthen investigation so the right people are caught, and fast and 3. Bring in robust witness protection programmes", Nundy suggested.
Now nobody will ever know if the four men killed by the police were innocent men, arrested fast to show action. And whether four of the most brutal rapists roam free, to rape and kill more women.#EncounterNight #Encounter https://t.co/LEXxSKWzre— Karuna Nundy (@karunanundy) December 6, 2019
Lawyer Vrinda Grover called the shooting "trigger track injustice" and asked the police to not indulge in extra-judicial killings in the name of women.
Former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju, who is known for being a motormouth, quoted a judgement by AN Mulla on Twitter, "I say with all sense of responsibility, there is not a single lawless group in d whole of d country whose record of crime comes anywhere near than that of the organized gang of criminals known as the Indian Police Force,".
Justice AN Mulla of the Alld HC in a judgment said “ I say with all sense of responsibility, there is not a single lawless group in d whole of d country whose record of crime comes anywhere near than that of the organized gang of criminals known as the Indian Police Force “— Markandey Katju (@mkatju) December 6, 2019
Other than that, countless journalists, influencers and social media users have called out the mysterious encounter.
India is a country of uncivilized people. Extra judicial killing is a tool used by police against poor people.Whole system is damn biased, WHY they never kill politicians, rich and powerful people like Asaram, Ram Rahim, Chinmayanand or Sengar in #Encounter??#JusticeForDisha https://t.co/LItHQoTZMB— Md Asif Khan آصِف (@imMAK02) December 6, 2019
Extra Judicial Killing is Murder. Murder is Crime. Crime is never Justice— Joy (@Joydas) December 6, 2019
In 1972, when a young adivasi girl, Mathura, was raped by policemen in police custody, one of the earliest protests against rape had broken out.You can't protest custodial rape if you celebtate custodial murder.None of us are safe when police kill in custody. Remember that.— Radhika 🏳️🌈✊🏾 (@so_radhikal) December 6, 2019
BJP has HIGHEST number of politicians accused with crimes against women compared to any other party.40% of BJP politcians have a criminal case against them.Are you saying that police should encounter half of your party members because they are "accused"? https://t.co/oVigYTbrSD— Dhruv Rathee (@dhruv_rathee) December 6, 2019
Meanwhile, Centre has sought a report from Telangana government over "custodial killing" of Telangana veterinarian's alleged rapists, sources said. A source in the Ministry of Home Affairs said that it is a killing in custody, as per existing guidelines state will have to apprise NHRC via MHA.
The Telangana Police on Friday said its personnel resorted to "retaliatory" firing after two of the accused in the rape and murder of a woman veterinarian opened fire at them after snatching weapons this morning. Cyberabad Police Commissioner CV Sajjanar said that one of the accused, Mohammed Arif, was the first to open fire, even as the police team that took them to the crime scene were attacked with stones and sticks. The snatched weapons were in an "unlocked" position, he added.