Pulling the trigger


The killing by police of the four accused in the rape and murder of a veterinarian in Hyderabad proves that the system we built for ourselves to live peacefully has failed us. We need to reflect on why we have failed to create a culture of mutual respect among people of different genders. We are all collectively responsible for the situation we are in. Only providing basic quality education and creating equitable opportunities for everyone would help create a saner society. Sadly, we live in a world where people think ‘an eye for an eye’ is the solution, ignoring the ultimate reality that it would make the whole world blind.

K. Sridevi,

Shivamogga, Karnataka

It should be a matter of concern to all those interested in civilisational propriety that we have descended to a stage where decent people are supporting extralegal killings. The killing of the four accused in no way inspires confidence in the working of our judicial system and is a blot on the governments, both at the Centre and in the States. The crass nature of debates in the Parliament is equally responsible for this dastardly turn of events. If earlier, we had four men responsible for the gruesome rape and murder of a young woman, now we have a large section of society, some irresponsible media houses, elected representatives and the police machinery which have become complicit in the killing of four men. It is up to us to decide whether we are willing to go down the dangerous path of extralegal means or, instead, strengthen our education system, polity and the judiciary. We cannot let the Justice Verma Committee report gather dust and, at the same time, encourage mob executions in the name of seeking justice.

Firoz Ahmad,


The police action seems to have been motivated by a desire to play to the gallery. What were they ‘investigating’ at the spot of crime, early in the morning? The guilt of any accused has to be subject to judicial scrutiny. Modern, civilised states don’t order private justice without following due process of law. Culprits behind gruesome rape incidents deserve stringent punishment but it is judicial trial that establishes the guilt of the accused, not police shooting carried out in the dark of the night. In a constitutional democracy, we investigate, try and punish the accused in a courtroom, also giving them a chance to defend themselves. The ends don’t always justify the means and such ‘encounter killings’ are a blot on our justice system.

Harmanjeet S. Sidhu,

Taruana, Haryana

It is worrying enough to see politicians advocating an abandonment of the rule of law for mob rule. Many of those who favour vengeance do not seem to understand that an important function of procedural safeguards is to ensure that the right person is punished: it is no use ‘lynching’ the wrong person, and a judicial system that routinely uses such means will soon find that it can no longer accurately identify the right set of culprits. But now, it seems that even the police have no regard for the law. I do not believe for one moment that it was necessary in the Hyderabad case for them to shoot the suspects. Re-enacting the crime with the four suspects was a rather unorthodox tactic to gather evidence, and would anyway not have assisted the prosecution. However, even if we assume that it was necessary, it would surely have been not too difficult to ensure proper security without having to shoot them. The unavoidable conclusion from the incident is that the police, instead of resisting mob rule as is their duty, became instruments of the justified but misdirected rage of the masses.

J.P. Loo,


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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 7:45:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/pulling-the-trigger/article30227240.ece

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