Maneka Gandhi at Parliament House. (PTI)
Amid a chorus of voices in both Houses of Parliament endorsing the encounter killing by Telangana Police of the four accused in the gangrape and murder of a veterinary doctor in Hyderabad, there were a few voices of caution and dissent that cut across party lines.
Condemning the incident, BJP MP Maneka Gandhi told reporters outside Parliament: “Whatever happened was terrible for the country. You cannot kill people because you want to. You cannot take the law in your hands. They (accused) would have been hanged anyway.”
“We are not savages,” said Naresh Gujral, Rajya Sabha MP of Shiromani Akali Dal.
“Though I feel very strongly for women’s security because I have two daughters, the due process of law is to be followed. The problem is the process of law has become very slow. But still, there has to be process of law. This way, we are walking towards anarchy. We are not savages. There were four accused and a full investigation did not take place and we do not know whether all four were involved or not. This is dangerous,” he said.
Several questions remain
NOT EVERYONE is buying the police claim on the sequence of events. Many questions are being asked: Why were the accused taken there at dawn, why were they not handcuffed, why were police pistols not locked.
Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of State for Panchayati Raj, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, said: “Justice has to be delivered by the judiciary, there should be a process followed. It should not be a debate in favour or against anyone here. This has happened while the security forces were carrying out their duty, there could have been an error, no wrong messages should go out.”
RJD MP Manoj Jha said the encounter was an affirmation for a “Taliban style of government”.
“Even that girl would not have been happy. She would have wanted that these people are subjected to due process of law. The end had to be death. They would have been hanged,” he said. “But we must realise that if we celebrate these kind of things, it tells a lot about what kind of nation we are getting converted into. I believe it’s an affirmation for a Taliban style of governance. I did not agree when MPs were making demands for instant justice in Parliament... We are sick.”
Trinamool Congress Leader in the Rajya Sabha Derek O’Brien said the problem needs a solution without politics. “West Bengal has 48 fast track courts of which 46 are for dealing with cases of violence against women. I strongly believe it’s a social evil. We need to solve this without politics. Quick justice is the need of the hour, but we need the rule of law. This is a very emotional issue, a sensitive issue,” he said.
Meanwhile, Delhi RSS leader Rajiv Tuli tweeted, “No place for sane voices.. @Manekagandhibjp has spoken against #Encounter which seems perfect and sane voice. Where are we headed as a society??”