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No trial by mob: The answer to gangrape cannot be gang justice

When even lawyers shout that there is no need for a trial for the gangrape accused and they should be handed over to the public, we should all be alarmed. It shows even they have little faith in the system.

The crowd protesting the Delhi rape demanded everything from public hanging to lynching for the convicts. AFP.

by Sandip Roy 07 Jan 10:40 am IST


When the police finally filed a chargesheet against the five adults accused in the gang rape case, according to media reports, some women lawyers shouted in the courtroom that there was no need for a trial because it was an "open and shut case" and the accused should be "handed over to the public". They were shushed by colleagues quickly but it's still disquieting.

It's one thing for the public to be baying for blood. It's another matter entirely when lawyers want to dispense with the legal process altogether.

Yes, temperatures are white hot. Yes, this crime was particularly brutal. Yes, there is a need for some cases to become exemplary cases.

But this is not a gang for a gang. The answer to gang rape cannot be gang justice.

It's not unexpected that the great festering anger over a complete lack of governance that turns something as basic as boarding a bus into a game of Russian roulette will stay contained in candlelight vigils and silent marches. It can easily take an ugly turn. And it already has in more than one instance.

On December 22, five alleged eve teasers were beaten to death by villagers in Jharkhand's Khuti district. "We were fed up with their misbehaviour with women of the villages," a villager told a news channel.

On January 3, a 25-year-old stalker tried drag a 16-year-old girl towards some abandoned jute mills near Howrah in West Bengal. Alerted by her cries, some commuters came to her rescue. They thrashed the man who would have been lynched had the police not been able to somehow extricate him. By then the man was bleeding profusely from head injuries. A local resident
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#Capital punishment #OnOurMinds #Delhi gangrape #Delhi gangrape protests