“Radicalising” a rapist

One wonders how the boy who committed rape and brutal murder is freed within 3 years of commission of the crime simply because he was then under 18 years of age.
“Radicalising” a rapist
Representational Pic

One wonders how the boy who committed rape and brutal murder is freed within 3 years of commission of the crime simply because he was then under 18 years of age. Under the law of the land that governs commission of crimes by a juvenile, the offender is not sent to the jail but to a Juvenile Home set up by the Government for a captivity of maximum period of 3 years. So did this Juvenile, Afroz from Utter Pradesh. The entire nation was aghast at his cheap let off although he was one of the five members of the group that was involved in this ghastly act and, as per the dying declaration of the victim, Nirbhaya, his conduct was the most brutal.

So enough  justification in the anger that followed his judgment as a juvenile and his subsequent detention in a Juvenile Home. People turned to Courts, one after the other, to block his release including the Supreme Court, which effectively refused to interfere with the law of the land. The Courts refused to make out any exception regardless of the severity of the crime committed by Afroz. {Incidentally, the Supreme Court has put its final seal on the issue rejecting a SLP today (21 December) seeking extended period of arrest for the accused.}

Across the country, the television channels are busy organizing debates on this issue apart from protests. In one such debates organized by a NDTV 24X7, the panelist included Dr. Subramayum Sawami, who is often in limelight for one or the other reasons. In this case too, he had approached Delhi High Court seeking to stall the release of Afroz, which the Court did not agree to. 

While the other panelists, including Dr. Kiran Bedi took a very rational view of the matter and were justifiably opposed to an extended reformation period of 2 years for the juvenile on the count that the same ought to have started along-with his detention 3 years back so that it could be reasonably implemented and monitored to make it sure that the Juvenile could safely be allowed to mix with the society post his release, Dr. Swamy had altogether different and dangerous views of the matter.

He took the view that the extended period of 2 years' monitoring by a Board was like a chain in his neck. So far so good, although the fact is that such an extended term may have come as a reprieve for Afroz who was reluctant to come out of the Centre lest he faces the public wrath. But, what Dr. Swamy said hereafter was something unbelievable. What he said was that once the two year period of reformation was over, he could be held under some other law for having been radicalised and possessing jehadi  leaning.

Not that Dr. Swamy was not promptly corrected. A female panelist (Justice Sharma) intimately connected with this case in the case particularly the latest hearing before the Delhi High Court, questioned the authenticity of Dr. Swamy's claim about radicalisation of the convict and his possessing of jehadi leaning "Nothing of the sort  was reported in the thousands of documents on this case before the Court which perused these minutely." The snub was quick and befitting after which Dr. Swamy beat a hasty retreat and did not repeat his filthy accusation.

Such mindset is hazardous. Day in and day out we see young people being roped in one or the other anti-State case. May be some have substance but a good number of these have seen the accused ultimately being let off for want of witness and not before a good part of their active and  family lives are completely shattered. The ease and comfort with which Dr. Swamy sought to prepare implication of a convict, under reformation in a government controlled  Centre, 2 years ahead of his formal release, makes all Muslims worrisome. Dr. Swamy did not even dither that apart from the above implication, what it also seeks to convey was that reformation or rehab centres controlled, managed and run by the Government of Delhi is actually a centre for radicalising {Muslim} youth and promoting jehadis! 

Such a mindset obviously is preposterous. It appears that a section of influential political leadership of which Dr. Subramanyam Swamy is a part, is itself badly radicalised and vowed to create more and more wedge between Muslims and other communities. Irony is that such an extremist and radicalised group has audience and influence at the levels that extremely matter in the Government circle in New Delhi. Already the opposition parties are levelling charges that the Central Government is   (mis)using  CBI and IB against them for political purposes. Even an iota of truth in such an accusation, Muslim community has  world of reasons to feel apprehensive. And why not say that such elements do indeed lead India to intolerance. Better late than never that Dr. Swamy is shown his place and elements like him kept under effective check.

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