Punish the culpable

By Salome Phelamei | Last Updated: Monday, November 9, 2009 - 18:05
 
Salome Phelamei  

I was attending the Sunday morning worship service when the tragic news of the 19-year-old Naga girl Ramchanphy Hongray, who was murdered by a PhD scholar in Delhi came. As our pastor announced the miserable news in the Church asking the congregations to pray for the departed soul, it was a different story. We were told that the death was due to accidental fire, although doubts and fear loomed within my heart.

But who would have identified the real culprit had a post mortem been missed, even though it was delayed. After four hours of intense questioning by the police, the suspect, Pushpum Sinha, a PhD scholar student of IIT-Delhi confessed to his heinous crime.

The scene took a gruesome turn when the Delhi police appeared to be trying to divert the issue by claiming that the murderer is of a `pervert and maniacal` nature and suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder.

On that fateful Saturday evening, when this young girl Ramchanphy, who had just come to Delhi from Manipur a few weeks ago to visit her sister, was alone in her Munirka flat, Pushpum who was also her neighbour entered the kitchen where she was and made advances towards her. When she protested with anger and shock, he strangulated her and then torched her just for refusing to satisfy his gory wish.

Following his confession later, the cops said that Pushpum was mentally unwell, single and desperate to have a girlfriend, not even knowing his marital status. But within hours of the claims, the culprit’s father clarified that his son Pushpum is married and has a wife living in Patna.

In fact, the poor woman had not even coped up with the language or ways of living in a metropolitan city, when she was brutally killed by this so called intelligent guy, a PhD scholar student from one of India’s most prestigious institutes, the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. Still, the cops seem to be defending the culprit, branding him as a man who’s mentally unwell.

The Delhi police also tried to ‘justify’ Pushpum`s crime as they alleged that he might have got scared and strangled her to death after she angrily refuted his advances, fearing that the girl would file a complaint against him.

Rather than coming up with these possibilities, the cops should take a tough call in the case and ensure justice is done to the innocent soul instead of evaluating the character of the culprit.

Pushpum may be hailed from a well-heeled family, but money power shouldn’t allow one to escape punishment for a crime. I hope the Indian court will do justice and pronounce the sentence he deserves for his offence.

There are innumerable cases of eve-teasing, molestation, abduction and even rape where Northeastern youth are targeted, with most of the victims being women. But the cops often neglect these cases despite a number of complaints being filed against the accused. The reluctance to crack down on crime against people from the Northeast is a disturbing trend that needs to be set right.

The rapid rise of crime is a matter of grave concern for the migrant women living in the national capital. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who is herself a woman, needs to initiate necessary steps to tackle notorious characters. Above all, security and trust need to be reinforced in the minds of the people making Delhi a safer place for each citizen.



First Published: Monday, November 9, 2009 - 18:05

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