All those who are applauding the Hyderabad police, do not forget:Mekhala Saran

1. The Hyderabad police refused to track the victim’s phone on her family’s request because “omg, too late private operators are shut, we are only the mighty police force, what can we do??” Remember if they’d tracked her phone that night itself, the Telangana veterinary might have still been alive. Like her sister said, “time is of the essence in these cases.”

2. There’s a reason why she chose to call her sister instead of the cops. Indian police are not accessible, understanding or friendly. No young girl I know, in moments of fear, thinks first of going to the police. She’d much rather call a friend/relative. And just the idea of being a single girl, casually dressed, standing in the middle of a regular police thana, packed with gawking, mocking cops is often enough to keep a girl from calling the cops first thing, and sometimes until it’s too late.

3. Custodial murder is an obstruction of justice. The 4 killed were suspects, not convicts. The Indian judicial system is at its lowest, at the moment, but the police force still can’t sit on judgment on anybody’s crimes. And don’t give me all the crap about how they had “confessed” to the rape and murder. We all know how the police extract confessions (Anyone remembers the hapless bus conductor from Ryan International School Murder Case? He had nothing to do with the child’s murder, as was discovered later). There’s a reason why police confessions are not admissible in Indian courts.

4. The 4 suspects may have done it, but now we will never actually know. And if we encourage retributive violence, one day or the other we will shoot down the wrong guy, and the right guy will go scot free and remain at large.

5. Custodial violence, is not merely arbitrary, but also heavily discriminatory. You will never shoot at a rape accused lawmaker, godman or movie star. You will never touch them.

Look at us applauding violence and lawlessness, when we should be striving to improve the law and order system, demanding fast-track courts in rape cases as a right, accountability, transparency, behavioral training for authorities, subsidized education, equality, and inexpensive mental health facilities. Look at us, smug, satisfied with murder, as if that’s going to end rape.

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