The killing of four accused in the Telangana rape and murder by the police set up a fiery debate in parliament today. Many MPs backed the Telangana police, who claimed to have opened fire after the rape-and-murder accused tried to snatch their weapon and attack them during an investigation at the scene of the crime early this morning.
The BJP's Meenakshi Lekhi appeared to back the shooting of the Telangana accused. "The police have not been given weapons as a showpiece," said Ms Lekhi, adding that the process of law had been followed in Telangana.
Earlier, Saugato Roy, an MP of Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress, had said while he did not support "encounters", there was a need to speed up the justice system. "In Hyderabad, they are calling it an encounter. People are celebrating on Facebook. I don't support encounters but people are asking for lynching and killing of rapists. If we deliver justice quickly then people won't ask such things," Mr Roy said.
The Shiv Sena's Arvind Sawant, appearing emotional, said many were "blessing" the Telangana cops but it would not have happened if the legal system was not so slow. "The Nirbhaya case took seven years," he pointed out, referring to the 2012 Delhi gang-rape in which a young medical student died after she was gang-raped and tortured on a moving bus. Four convicts in the case were sentenced to death. One of them had hanged himself in jail. Vinay Sharm, another convict had filed a mercy petition before President Ram Nath Kovind while Mukesh refused to make an appeal.The fourth death row convict, Akshay Kumar Singh, has not filed a review petition in the Supreme Court.
Union Minister Smriti Irani hit out at the opposition in the Lok Sabha, accusing parties like the Congress of politicising rape. "I won't name anyone but a party uses rape as a political weapon in the Bengal panchayat polls and they sermonise here," Smriti Irani said angrily.
"What happened in Unnao, Hyderabad is despicable. There should be tough punishment, yes. But doing politics in such crimes is unpardonable. You were quiet when rape was used as a political weapon in Bengal," said Ms Irani, alleging selective outrage among opposition MPs.
In a strong statement, Apna Dal's Anupriya Patel, an MP from Uttar Pradesh, referred to the Unnao woman, who is extremely critical with 90 per cent burns after being beaten, stabbed and set on fire by five including her alleged rapist, who was released on bail recently. "This is not a question of UP or Telangana. Across the country, rapists have no fear of the system. In the Nirbhaya case, the men have not been hanged. There should be a national level dialogue and we should rise above politics," said Ms Patel.