The reports of the gruesome murder of a teenage girl by people connected to the ruling BJP in Dehradun in Uttarkhand followed by the demolition of the resort the accused owned display some deeply disturbing trends.
As per reports, the 19-year-old was working as a receptionist in the resort at a time when she would have been in college pursuing her education. It was the responsibility of the State to ensure that such an industrious girl faced no harassment in the workplace, leave alone threat to her life. Unfortunately, that did not happen. What is left for the ends of justice to meet is a proper investigation that will bring the perpetrators to book.
The demolition of the resort by the authorities follows a pattern now being employed in several states, especially those ruled by the BJP, and is more worrisome. It has now become a practice that the authorities suddenly discover that the property of a person accused of some grave crime or involved in a programme of protest which the powers-that-be detests has some irregularity about it, and then they demolish it.
Due process of law is given a go by while delivering what they call instant justice. The more heinous the crime, the more the public support extrajudicial punishment generates.
This must stop. Allowed to continue, this practice will slowly erode people’s faith in democracy and its processes, which include rule of law. It may look like delivery of justice but going forward, this mode, which is accountable to none, will be another tool in the hands of the rich and powerful. Those who support this practice little realise this.
The government opts for the easy way out when it resorts to the demolition raj whereas the need of the hour is systematic, progressive and sustained efforts to reform the process of criminal justice administration.
Justice is one of the most cherished but difficult ideas of human civilisation. There is no easy mechanism to deliver it....