Highway rapist-killers

Men fail to match up to strides made by women

Highway rapist-killers

Photo for representational purpose only

The ease with which a gang of four highway robbers has been allegedly committing rapes and murders in the Mewat area of Haryana and Rajasthan reflects horrifyingly on not just the depravity of the accused; it also points poorly at the law-enforcement agencies. They fail to instill the fear of the law into potential criminals. Deterrence comes from the dread of being caught and sure and quick retribution, not just the enactment of stringent rules. As per the initial investigation, the accused, in the course of their robberies, began targeting vulnerable women found walking alone on the road, going about their errands. They would offer the girl a lift in their van, abduct her, rape her and mutilate the victim’s face before dumping the body into a water channel. The Nuh police believe that 10 women may have been sexually violated and killed by them in the past around three years.

The lack of apparent action or any hot chase after the first crime emboldened the thieves to also become serial sex offenders, as per their confession. Though they would strike at a new place every time to escape detection, if the pattern of the heinous crimes had alerted the various authorities of Mewat comprising the neighbouring districts of Nuh in Haryana and Rajasthan into conducting a coordinated move, perhaps, the loss of some innocent lives would have been averted. It would not be wrong to partly attribute the atrocious gender crime figures of the National Crime Records Bureau to the authorities’ sloppiness. In 2019, Rajasthan followed by Haryana had the highest gangrape rate (number of crime incidents per lakh women).

It is a pity that in this age of girls overcoming odds to make huge strides, their male peers have not matched up to them by learning to respect them and their agency. That this heinous story of rapist-killers comes alongside the remarkable stories of five daughters of a Rajasthan farmer having cracked the state civil services and of the incredible single mother leaping from a sanitation worker to a civil servant calls for deep introspection. Boys need to be taught better.

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