Hyderabad rape-murder case: An encounter that left a nation divided
Several hashtags around the encounter dominated online discourse, with #Encounter (222K) and #Hyderabadpolice (141K) being the top trends.
Appreciation and criticism of Hyderabad police cut across political lines.
Those who praised ‘encounter’
Akhilesh Yadav: After all, those who run away from the law could not have run away from justice. It’s good someone has got justice from this, but the real happiness will be when such an effective preventive security system and protective social environment is created that such heinous crimes should never happen to any sisters and daughters.
Mayawati: The action that has been taken by the Hyderabad Police is praiseworthy. In UP, this is happening every day not just in one district but in every district. Be it young girls or aged women, nobody is being spared. There is jungle raj in UP.
Jaya Bachchan: “Der aaye, durust aaye (better late than never).
Celebrities who praised 'encounter'
PV Sindhu: Justice has been served! May (her) soul rest in peace.
Vivek Anand Oberoi: Same spot, same time frame, the predators became the prey! Now that’s true poetic justice! Maybe now all such monsters will finally feel fear and think a hundred times before even thinking of raping and murdering girls!
..And those who spoke against
Sitaram Yechury: How we must secure the lives and dignity of each of our citizens, must be what civilised societies are about. Justice can never be retribution. Why is the tough law put in place on the safety of women after the 2012 Delhi crime not being implemented properly?
Yogendra Yadav: No matter how heineous the crime, once we accept “encounter” as a solution, we give up the hope of rule of law. Today, it’s these “criminals”. Tomorrow, it can be you or me.
Milind Deora: Rape victims & their families deserve justice. Govts must do everything in their power to prevent atrocities against women. Courts must administer justice swiftly. India is not & must not become a mobocracy. Our constitution guarantees every Indian the right to a fair trial.
Amit Malviya: Encounter of four rapists by Telangana police may be an act of self defence but the jubilation surrounding it suggests collapse of our collective faith in the criminal justice system as much as politics of netas who normalise rapes by offering sewing machine and cash to rapists.
Celebrities who spoke against
Gutta Jwala: Will this stop the future rapists? And an important question. Will every rapist be treated the same way... irrespective of their social standing?
Those who took the middle ground
Rajeev Chandrasekhar: Its difficult for me to justify encounter killings — but pent up fury against legal system is hard to ignore. Victims —especially poor, women and children are being badly let down by policing and judicial system — held back by capacity and capability.
Arvind Kejriwal: There is satisfaction and happiness among people over the Hyderabad incident. It is a matter of concern that people’s trust in the law and order of the country is broken. We all have to strengthen our law and order system so that people start believing in it and every victim can get justice soon.
...And some did somersaults
Clarification: This is not a tweet written by me. My team did it (Avinash Pandey) & he has been immediately sacked. I strongly condemn this.
Abhishek Singhvi: (Tweet deleted later) Sometimes in spite of all the debates and #HumanRights logics, we shall understand the mood and sentiments of the people of the nation and stand with them. After all, democracy is all about ‘The People’. #Encounter.
Later: In world’s largest democracy, there is nothing we cannot achieve through law. Nirbhaya case has had some delay but it has crossed all judicial hierarchies pretty quickly and is likely to be implemented shortly. Both Hyderabad and Unnao cases unlikely to see long delay. So no need to despair.