‘Zero tolerance for such barbaric acts’

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This Friday the 13th marks a special day in the history of Indian judiciary. The nationwide protests after the brutal gangrape and murder of a 23-year-old girl in the capital were finally answered as a Delhi court awarded death sentence to the four accused. The verdict generated a flurry of reactions from all walks of life, and citizens across the country supported this decision.
Women in the city feel that even though this was justice delayed, nevertheless it didn’t end as justice denied. Nagma Hasan, a writer, says, “About time they punished the culprits. But I would have liked it better if the accused were left to the public to flog them to death.”
Whereas Mashoo Neil, a radiologist, feels, “I am happy as far as the punishment is concerned for these four men, however I am disappointed that the fifth one got away with just three years because he was termed a juvenile.”
To this Richa Jain, an IT professional adds, “This should be a case in point for other pending cases like the recent Mumbai rape case. The rapists shouldn’t be treated leniently. Even if the rapists are below 18, they should be given harsh punishment because if they are capable enough to commit such a crime, they should be ready to face the consequences.”
Many feel that a death punishment to these culprits will send out a clear message of no tolerance for crime against women. Nupur Saxena, an IT professional, says, “This verdict shows that Indian judicial and social system will have zero tolerance for such barbaric acts. This judgment will send out a strong message for psychopaths to put a halt to their sick acts and restore the trust of security among young women who were scared to step out after such brutal incidents.”
However, Kruti Jaiswal, a homemaker and lawyer, feels that even though this judgment would work as a deterrent for other criminals, it would not be a permanent solution. She says, “I feel that maybe this judgment was somewhere influenced by the upcoming elections and the fact that the culprits involved were from the lower strata of the society. If the culprits were influential people or had some political connect, would they have been punished in the same way? Previously, we have seen cases where rapists roam around scot-free because they have money to defend themselves. It’s time we change the law and make it more rigid.”

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