Bhopal: Joining the chorus of appreciation for Hyderabad police who killed the four accused in the gang rape and murder of a young veterinarian, former Mahdya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the country “heaved a sigh of relief” after the encounter on Friday.
The senior BJP leader, whose government had introduced death penalty for rapists of minor girls, is of the view that criminals lose fear of law when justice is deferred. “The whole country has heaved a sigh of relief, they got punishment for their misdeeds,” Chouhan said.
Chouhan also rubbished the questions being raised on the alleged loopholes in cops story and the timing and authenticity of the encounter.
In December 2017, MP assembly had unanimously cleared a bill proposing death sentence for the rapists of minor girls and in August 2018, the parliament, too, had passed a stringent legislation to hang sexual offenders who assault girls less than 12 years of age. To add, Madhya Pradesh was the first state to have proposed such a stringent provision against rapists. However, the state continues to record the highest number of rape cases.
Speaking to the media in Bhopal on Friday, Chouhan reminded that his government in the past had provisioned death sentence for those who rape minor girls.
“The law is still under a question mark as no a single person convicted under it is actually hanged,” said Chouhan, who is of the opinion that even after a lower court convicts an accused, the matter stays pending, entangled in a complex web of appeals in the high court and Supreme Court.
Citing the case of a 12-year-old girl who was raped and killed by an 18-year-old boy in Bhopal in March, the former CM said the mother of the victim is still awaiting justice. “Even the DNA report in the case is still awaited,” he said.
Till October 1, as many as ten culprits have been awarded death sentence by different courts in Madhya Pradesh for raping girls less than 12 years of age and their cases are pending with various courts in appeal. In 2018, courts had convicted and handed death penalties to 21 such rapists across the state, an officer from Directorate Prosecutions said.
Meanwhile another former Chief Minister Uma Bharti expressed happiness over the encounter of four accused of raping and burning down the Hyderabad veterinary expert.
“I was deeply saddened and pained by the rape and murder of the Hyderabad doctor and learnt about killing of the accused this morning in police encounter,” said Bharti in a tweet.
“This is the most assuring incident on women safety of this sanctuary,” claimed the firebrand sadhvi. Applauding the police action, Bharti said that although this can’t lessen the pain of the family, it would still comfort the departed soul.
Leader of Opposition in assembly Gopal Bhargav too hailed the police encounter saying the perpetrators of such heinous acts deserve end like this.