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So-called human rights activists claim “moral high ground” to denounce justice to Nirbhaya by classifying it as an act of revenge

The convicts were executed only after they had exhausted all legal remedies available for them under India's legal system.

Following the execution of the convicts involved in the brutal gangrape and murder of 23-year-old physiotherapy student in 2012 who was named “Nirbhaya” by the media, several self-proclaimed human rights activists assumed moral high ground and dubbed the death penalty handed out to the convicts as an act of revenge.

One such woke activist happened to be a man by the name of Jayanta Bhattacharya. He accused Nirbhaya’s mother, Asha Devi, of having a “slum mentality” and “lust for blood” for seeking justice for her daughter.

How supposed human rights activists claimed, "moral high ground" to denounce justice to Nirbhaya by classifying it as an act of revenge?
Screengrab of the Tweet

Another Twitter user, Prakash Sastry, engaged in virtue signalling said that one cannot rejoice the execution of rapists. He claimed that if the death penalty is not taken off the table, then, India will become a “regressive society.”

A Twitter user by the name of Mohammed Mojahid who claims to be a student of Aligarh Muslim University wrote that capital punishment was “escapism” and a symptom of a “culture of violence”.

Citing the report of Justice Verma Committee, Amnesty India, which is renowned for selective outrage and fake propaganda, claimed that death penalty is never the solution and that Friday’s execution allegedly added “another dark stain” to India’s human rights record.

On Thursday, the Caravan Magazine known for its vicious propaganda wrote an article whitewashing the perpetrator, Mukesh Singh, while lacking empathy for the real victim, Nirbhaya.

Earlier, controversial Supreme Court Judge (retired) Kurian Joseph asked whether heinous crimes such as rape would stop if the convicts were hanged. He said that capital punishment should be reserved for “rarest of rare cases”, implying that the brutal gangrape and murder was not a rarest of rare case.

It begs a counter-question: If their death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, then would it have eradicated rape from the country? Possibly no.

The last time a rapist, Dhananjoy Chatterjee, was hanged to death was way back in 2004. Only 3 other people (Afzal Guru, Ajmal Kasab and Yakub Memon) have been executed on charges of terrorism and inciting war against the nation in the past 20 years. If you compare the numbers with the world’s oldest democracy aka the United States of America, then, you will be surprised to know that 22 people were executed in 2019 alone. Comparatively, India has been using the death penalty more cautiously than it should.

Nirbhaya was brutally raped by 6 men, her intestines were ripped out and an iron rod was shoved in her private parts. Does this heinous crime not qualify as the “rarest of rare” crime? It does.

The case shook the conscience of the society as observed by the apex court. The convicts were given the opportunity to utilize all legal remedies available to them so much so that they were successful in prolonging their death penalty. Three death warrants were issued and stayed, as the convicts approached the courts with petitions one after another, delaying the process. In just 24 hours prior to the execution, the convicts had approached the courts five times, 3 petitions were rejected by Supreme Court, while one each was dismissed by Delhi High Court and the trial court. They were awarded death sentence back in 2014 by the trial court, and therefore they got ample opportunities to defend themselves. The convicts were executed only after they had exhausted all legal remedies available for them under India’s legal system.

Nevertheless, a mother (Asha Devi) who have been fighting an agonising legal battle for 7 long years could finally have closure. The execution of the convicts on Friday morning also sent out a stern message to the society that such crimes would not be tolerated.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Dibakar Dutta
Dibakar Dutta
Centre-Right. Political analyst. Assistant Editor @Opindia. Reach me at [email protected]

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