Punjab case: Wake up India! Is strong punishment the answer?

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Violence Against Women
Chandigarh, Dec 7: The virtual world is demanding a kind of barbarian type of punishment of hanging in public place for the man who allegedly shot and killed the Punjab police official. These may be stray thoughts of anguished people, many of them could be parents like Asst Sub-Inspector Ravinder Pal Singh. Akali Dal leader Ranjit Singh Rana shot and killed the ASI in broad daylight for protecting his daughter from harassment.

But the fact is that people are demanding swift punishment.

The parents have a right to demand action as on one hand we are asking a girl child to be educated and empowered while as a society we have failed to create an atmosphere wherein they can walk on the roads without fear. We cannot enact a law on equal rights and let that remain on paper as women are afraid to step out of their homes.

How are we going to ensure protection for women? The parents cannot always be with them and it is not proper for women to take the law into their hands as expressed by the slain ASI's daughter. As a short term measure, make girls learn self-defence technique like martial arts and in the long run inculcate values in society so that there is respect for women and fear of law.

On Thursday, Vishnu Prakash, Ambassador of India to South Korea tweeted: "Wake up India! When a police officer is shot dead trying to protect daughter's modesty, it is time to introspect and act"

Meanwhile, the Punjab government seems to have woken up and tried to set in damage control measures.

Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday night ordered enlisting of daughter of the murdered ASI as a Sub Inspector in Punjab police as a special case.

"The girl displayed exemplary courage," said the Deputy Chief Minister.

Badal had also ordered the dismissal of Ashwani Kumar, Chheharta police station incharge, who did not entertain the complaint of the girl.

Timely police action could have averted the murder. Not only did the Chheharta police fail to take action on the sexual harassment complaint filed by Singh's daughter on Dec 1, they have also failed to turn up after the crime.

After the shooting, despite frantic calls by the locals, no one from Chheharta came to help. It was policemen from Gharinda, around 25 km away - with whom Singh was posted - who reached half-an-hour later but it was too late.

Rana and other killers first shot Singh on the feet with a pistol. Twenty minutes later, they brought a rifle and shot him in the chest.

"After he (Rana) shot my father with his rifle, my father collapsed," said Singh's daughter.

"Rana then kept kicking and hitting us in full public view. I pleaded for help but everyone ran away. Even when the ambulance came, I had to lift my father into it as no one came to help."

OneIndia News

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