Students divided over death sentence

Students divided over death sentence

Students divided over death sentence

Students from universities in the city are divided on the quantum of punishment given on Friday to the accused in the December 16 gang-rape case.

While several students said death penalty will not deter rape, others opined that the brutality of the crime in this case justified the punishment. “We are not barbarians who respond to violence through violence. The victim died after being brutally gang-raped. Emotions are high, but the rape culture in this country will not stop by killing the guilty,” said Suhasini Rao, a third-year political science student of Delhi University.

“If everybody thinks that the severity of this punishment will be shown as a lesson to rapists, they are wrong. Everyday, women are being raped in various parts of the country and death penalty can never be the solution for it,” said Rao.

Some students said giving a life term will help curb rapes. Harish Nair, research scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University, blamed the lack of the fear of law. “The guilty should be punished, but the punishment cannot be death in a civilised society. The rate of rapes can only be reduced when rapists are pushed into jails with no bias and making it a zero tolerance crime in the country,” he said.

“Will the courts give the same punishment to our ministers and cops involved in rape and murder cases, causing riots? What about Asaram? Will he get any punishment at all ?” asked Nair.

“The case of Dhananjay Chatterjee, who was given death penalty for the rape and murder of 15-year-old Hetal Parekh nine-years-ago, did not change anything. Few days back a two-year-old was raped in Ludhiana and left to die bleeding on the road. What the death penalty does is momentarily satisfy the mob’s blood lust,” he said.

Students who welcomed the punishment said the brutality of the crime legitimised death penalty. “Death penalty is still part of our law. The accused tormented that girl, think about her family. This incident could have happened to anyone’s daughter, sister, mother. The punishment in this case has to be severe so that something as ghastly as this will not repeat,” said Ambreen, student of Jamia Millia Islamia.
Students said the juvenile accused who was given three years’ imprisonment got away with very little punishment.

“He inserted a rod into her body and he gets three years. He did a gory act and should be treated like an adult. The girl is gone, the damage is done. But we have to ensure that such incidents do not take place. For that death penalty is apt. Even the juvenile should have got death penalty,” said Mithilesh Mishra, postgraduate Linguistics student at Delhi University.

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