We were Zapped!
We happened to reluctantly see the trailer for Netflix’s web-series ‘Delhi Crime’. It caught our attention due to its relevance regarding the sensational Nirbhaya rape case, which actually shook India—the world’s biggest democracy.
For curiosity’s sake, we decided to watch just the first episode and started at 2330 hours (11:30 pm), determined to stick to only the first episode that night and catch up on the remaining by watching an episode a night thereon.
After the first episode, we were so surprised to acknowledge ourselves of the true facts presented by Richie Mehta, the director, that we couldn’t help but watch one more, then another, eventually leading up to 6 in the morning, having watched all the episodes. Why?
Newspaper and television news channels had been the only sources of information for the whole country when the incident happened, but while watching this series, we realized that we had all been made proper fools by the media that happens to be hand in glove with the politicians who kept on pumping one fake news after the other till the whole country decided to jump in and fire up a revolution. (We are not promoting Netflix!)
Nirbhaya and her male friend had just finished watching American survival drama “Life of Pi”, little knowing that their own lives will change forever after moving out of the south Delhi theatre on the cold and dark night of December 16, 2012.
As the 23-year-old physiotherapist intern and Awindra Pratap Pandey waited at Munirka in south Delhi looking for an auto-rickshaw to reach their home in Dwarka, an off-duty charter bus, with six male occupants, including the driver, stopped by and offered them a ride.
The bus moved in a direction which was off the route. The unsuspecting friends noticed something was wrong as the doors of the vehicle had been shut tightly.
Pandey, who spoke about the incident later, objected. He was shouted down. But he resisted and a scuffle broke out as the men, who were drunk, began molesting Nirbhaya – the name given to the woman later by the media which means fearless.
Nirbhaya’s friend was knocked down with an iron rod.
As Pandey lay half unconscious, the drunk men dragged Nirbhaya to the rear of the moving bus and took turns to rape her. As she fought back, one of the attackers – a juvenile – inserted a rusted, L-shaped rod – used with a wheel jack – into her private parts, pulling and ripping her intestines apart. Her medical reports later revealed that she had septic injuries on her abdomen and genital organs also.
Done with the savagery, the attackers then threw the two out of the moving bus and even tried to run the vehicle over the half-naked blood-soaked woman. But her friend, himself injured, pulled her aside on to the pavement.
A passerby found the two laying half dead and informed Delhi Police. Doctors at the Safdarjung Hospital found the woman with only five percent intestines left inside her body.
The crime triggered massive protests across the country. Angry young men and women took to the streets in Delhi. On December 21, thousands gathered at India Gate and Raisina Hill seeking justice for Nirbhaya as she battled for her life. The protests went on and on.
Nirbhaya, born and brought up in Delhi to parents from an Uttar Pradesh village, was flown to a Singapore hospital. She died there on December 29. Her friend survived after being treated for broken ribs.
The accused were quickly caught and identified as Ram Singh, Mukesh Singh, Vinay Gupta, Pawan Gupta, Akshay Thakur, and a juvenile. Ram Singh, the bus driver, committed suicide in Tihar Jail during the trial.
e juvenile was sent to a correction home and has been released since. The four others were sentenced to death in 2013 and their capital punishment was upheld by the Supreme Court on Friday – four-and-a-half years after the incident.
The incident shook the Manmohan Singh government and a judicial committee headed by former Chief Justice of India J.S. Verma was set up to propose stiff laws to deal with rape cases. Fast-track courts were introduced and even stalking, voyeurism and intentional touching were listed as crimes.
1. The maximum strength of our efficient police force is used for the security of politicians and their family members. Why do they need so much security? Is the public’s safety less important? Yes, we agree that politicians’ safety is required. But to what extent?
2. Delhi Police was caught off guard due to the sudden reporting of the rape case, which appeared, in those circumstances, the rarest of rare cases. The minor loopholes were observed in their standard operating procedures, but they still did a fantastic job despite the surprise.
3. It is evident that the Delhi Police was understaffed to be able to crack this case. Why then weren’t more efficient police officers deputed to help the team dealing with the case so as to ensure efficient and smooth conduct of the investigation? Did someone even bother about the rest and safety of the team of Delhi Police on this case?
4. Best Medical Treatment for Nirbhaya? When AIIMS, the premier medical institute of this country (where only the top-ranking medical students are admitted every year), was right across the Safdarjung hospital, why was Nirbhaya not admitted in it? Is AIIMS only responsible to handle high profile cases of state- and national-level politicians?
5. Medical Team to Singapore. The team of doctors at the Safdarjung Hospital who worked round the clock to keep Nirbhaya alive, as she oscillated between life and death, were not allowed to travel with her to Singapore for more advanced treatment. Why?
When it had been decided that Nirbhaya would receive treatment at the Safdarjung Hospital, weren’t the doctors there the best people ideally to accompany her since they knew of her medical history. This decision was taken by the then Home Minister Mr. Sushil Shinde, who ordered that doctors from Medanta Medicity should accompany her instead. What was the logic behind it? Only Mr. Shinde knows!
6. Irresponsible Media. All the television channels started a rat race of getting the maximum coverage on her story. Whether the story they covered was right or wrong, no one bothered to check. Some channels even started using their incredible imagination to cook up narratives that fit the mould.
Just for the heck to creating something sensational, they started producing stories and projecting the Delhi Police as lazy, as if they had only been sleeping peacefully all this time. None of the news channels used their resources and journalistic abilities to seek out the culprits within the Delhi region and the other two neighbouring states. It was more convenient, clearly, to bark in front of a camera than to help the police in their investigation. Even before the actual bus was hunted down by the police, a channel reporter boarded a different bus and started talking as if he was filming from inside ‘the bus’!
7. The Nationwide (Political) Protest. What we saw on our TVs as shown by the media channels was as if a nationwide revolution had erupted because the people of the country were fed up with the poor law and order situation of the capital city and the country as a whole. But what was not so clear was that the nationwide protest was stage-managed by the political parties in power just to get the Delhi Police under the control of the Delhi Government. (Presently, they are under the direct control of the Union Home Ministry.)
8. First Timers? The culprits in the gruesome case were NOT first-time offenders. Just before the couple had boarded the bus, the men had looted another person and had thrown him out of the moving bus. The victim had decided to keep quiet for many days just because he was not confident if the Delhi Police would help him! Is this not an alarming bell for the police force?
9. Inside School Bus! The bus where the crime was committed was actually a school bus, where four more men in addition to the driver and the conductor were present. Does this mean that this incident could have happened to a school kid too?
10. Unfair Law. All the culprits were caught in a short span of time. Out of the six, one was caught from two different states! But what had happened while catching the culprit of Ms. Jessica Lal’s murder case—Mr. Manu Sharma, who was politically well-connected? Why had that taken so much time? Is it safe to assume then that since the culprits here were very poor and could not afford to use high profile connections with political power, they were caught within a few days of the crime! Is law really equal for all Indians! The Jessica Lal murder case had presented a whole different story.
11. Delhi High Court. Delhi High Court jumped in Nirbhaya Rape Case, and summoned DCP South to answer their questions, that too when she was working 24×7 to catch the culprits? Why? What happened to the same high court in Jessica Lal Murder Case, when they took so many years to give a right verdict? Why didn’t they jumped then and took the case in their hands? Was it a publicity stunt? Do they show the same proactiveness to all rape cases? What is the maximum duration within which they dispose of a rape case from their table?
12. Juvenile. One of the culprits was less than 18 years of age and was treated with juvenile law who was proved to be the wildest culprit of all! The only juvenile culprit was let off correction home after three years! Why? When he was the equal culprit for the heinous crime, then how come he be let off after three years of punishment, just because he was less than 18 years of age when the crime was committed and was subsequently caught by the police? Now he has seen that even after committing a heinous crime, he got away after just 3 years of correction home tenure (Not even Jail Term!). Who will take responsibility if he commits the same crime again?
13. The Victim Boy. Has someone thought about the responsibility of the boy accompanying the girl in this crime? Surprisingly, he was having one more girlfriend in addition to Nirbhaya (for which she was not aware off), who had incidentally called him on his mobile at the time of the crime was taking place inside the bus! All culprits had confirmed that the boy was trying to get intimate with the girl, after boarding the bus. they all claimed that they all thought of taking advantage of the situation. The same boy was too eager to get on National Television to give his interview so as to tell the world about his struggle!!
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