Scores gather to condemn Hyderabad vet’s rape, murder

Protesters seek social change, better women safety measures

More than 150 people gathered in Andheri on Sunday to raise their voices against the rape and murder of a 27-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad.

The gathering at the Our Lady of Velankanni Grotto at Sahar Village was organised by the Watchdog Foundation, Bombay Catholic Sabha and Bombay East India Association.

Nicholas Almeida, member of the Watchdog Foundation, said, “Our laws when it comes to heinous crimes like rape should be as stringent as the ones in the Gulf countries. Today, we are vowing in front of Mother Mary to dissent and apologise as part of a society that breeds such criminals. This incident shocked me to the core. It moved me to raise another concern, which is the youth of Sahar Village taking to drugs and being victims of substance abuse, which I also feel contributes to society becoming wayward and insensitive.”

Speaking about the police allegedly delaying registering an FIR in the Hyderabad case, Vivian D’souza, a member of the Bombay East India Association, said, “I feel a lot of the perpetrators of crimes like these belong to the population that feels they can get away with it … The laws are stringent, but what makes it difficult to implement is the tedious process appealing to higher courts repeatedly.”

‘Deep-rooted issues’

Theatre personality Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal condemned the act and said she remembers how the ‘Bell bajao’ campaign was a breakthrough once. “I believe there are many campaigns happening right now, but somehow we have lost the community feeling. We only want what helps us individually, and crimes like these happening again after the Nirbhaya rape case show India has deep-rooted sociocultural issues,” she said.

Ms. Kotwal said she did not feel that the death sentence was going to incite any fear in the minds of a rapist who had already decided to commit the crime, because then there are greater chances of them killing the victim.

Jyoti Udeshi, a private sector employee, said, “I have been in a situation where I had to use the emergency number 100 and it is shocking how I got no response or help whatsoever. There need to be functional applications that are available to everyone.”

Preeti Shalom, a member of the Habitat and Livelihood Welfare Association, said self-defence was essential for women to live in a society like this. “The death penalty should be granted in less than 30 days and India should implement public humiliation like Kuwait and Iran to instil dread in the minds of the rapists,” she said.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 9:41:26 AM |

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