As more details emerge about the brutal murder of a law student at Kuruppampady near Perumbavoor, who was killed last Thursday, it has brought forth chilling memories about the “Nirbhaya “ incident at Delhi, wherein a student was similarly brutally raped and murdered.
Though the incident occurred five days back, it was only on Monday that society, media and the social media in general seem to have taken note of it. A hashtag seeking justice for the victim is now trending in the social media and the results have been phenomenal.
On Tuesday, there were widespread protests across the State by women media persons, social activists and women’s wings of political parties of all hues, raising concerns about women’s safety in general and the insensitivity and indifference of the public and police towards issues of violence against women.
Women activists who took out protest demonstrations in front of the Secretariat on Tuesday morning expressed protest that the brutality visited upon Jisha was too shocking for words and that yet the police, instead of speeding up enquiry had wasted precious time waiting for the post-mortem report to initiate any action.
“When can we stop worrying about leaving our girls at home? This incident has brought home to us the horrible truth that despite all lip service being paid to women’s safety, there has been no deterrent measures from either the police or the judiciary to reassure us mothers that our daughters can be safe and free from violence. It is also shocking that it took widespread reactions in the social media for the media to take note of the incident,” one of the women protestors said.
Social activist and theatre personality, T. Parvathy, pointed out that the victim was in her own home and not out on the streets when she was raped and murdered. “I am saddened that yet again, it is a young girl who has had to bear the brunt of someone’s sexual frustrations or violent mental illness. People who blame women for being out late at night or their sartorial choices for all the violence and indignities visited upon them should understand the vulnerabilities that women face in their own homes,” she said.
Women activists also pointed out that politicising the issue or blaming the police for inaction will not help the investigations.
“We need to bring in a system of neighbourhood vigil and increased police vigil where vulnerable sections of society live so that women’s safety is addressed better. There might be many homes in urban slums and other parts of the city where the socially and economically backward live where mothers are forced to go for work leaving their young daughters home. What are we doing to keep them safe?”” asked J. Sandhya, a human rights lawyer and a member of the State Commission for the Protection of Children’s Rights
She also pointed out that unless the system is able to ensure stringent and deterrent punishment within a stipulated time to those who perpetrate violence on women, such incidents will be repeated again and again.