Archives  >  2019  >  December  >  2nd

Hyderabad Horrors

1. What’s the story?

Last week, Hyderabad was witness to the horrific rape and murder of Priyanka Reddy — a young medical professional, who was abducted on her way home from work. This week, the whole country is demanding justice. But experts say it might be a case of too little, too late.

Tell me more.

On Thursday, a young woman in Hyderabad was returning home from work. Four men slashed her bike tyres near the toll plaza on the outskirts of the city. 

“When the doctor returned to take her scooter at around 9.18 pm, she realised one of the tyres got punctured. The prime accused Areef then approached on the pretext of getting the scooter fixed. Another accused Jollu Shiva took her scooter, on the pretext of getting it repaired, and came back after some time and told her that all the repair shops were closed.

The police said that the accused then raped the girl who died because of accused had covered her mouth and nose while committing the crime. The accused then wrapped the dead body in a blanket and took it to Shadnagar and burnt the body.”

According to certain protestors, it was only when this story garnered nationwide outrage late last week that the state machinery swung into action.
“On Saturday night, three policemen were suspended for alleged delay in registering an FIR in the case after an inquiry following allegations levelled by the family that police had cited jurisdictional reasons and not acted on time on their complaint on the missing woman, said Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar. He further said a detailed enquiry was conducted following which a sub-inspector and two constables were suspended. All police officers have once again been instructed to register cases, irrespective of jurisdiction whenever a complaint related to cognisable offence is received in the police station, the Commissioner said.

Meanwhile, a district bar association in Telangana on Sunday decided not to represent the four accused in the case. Mattapally Srinivas, president of the Ranga Reddy Bar Association, said they had taken the decision as “a moral and social responsibility against the heinous crime committed by the accused.” ”

Meanwhile Telangana’s Chief Minister, K Chandrashekhar Rao, has instructed that this case be heard in the fast-track court — hastening the carrying out of justice

“The Telangana chief minister also assured all necessary help to the victim’s family.

K Chandrashekhar Rao has also instructed the officials to initiate the process for setting up a fast-track court and ensure that the culprits, who raped and murdered a 26-year-old veterinary surgeon in Cyberabad, get tough punishment.

“The chief minister has instructed officials that the accused of the woman veterinary doctor’s ghastly murder should be inquired on a fast-track, and culprits should be given stringent punishment. The chief minister also decided to set up a fast-track court to deal with the case,” Telangana Chief Minister’s Office stated.

In his first public statement since the incident, Chandrashekhar Rao also described the rape and murder of the 25-year-old woman by four men as ‘ghastly’ and expressed his deep anguish.” “

So, what now?

The more things change, though, the more they stay the same. This was never more visible than on Sunday, when a BJP youth leader was booked for alleged sexual harassment — only hours after expressing his outrage over the horrific crime against Priyanka Reddy. 

“Following … complaint, Madhapur police have filed an FIR under Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and Section 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

“The woman came and filed a complaint with us, following which we filed the FIR. However, the accused is absconding and we are yet to apprehend him,” said a police official from the Madhapur police station to TNM.”

Keep your eyes on this space. We’ll keep you updated.

2. Where else should I be keeping my eyes on?

Jharkhand, that’s where. The state is in the middle of a five-part assembly election.

“Notwithstanding an early morning attempt by Maoists to disrupt the polling process by triggering a blast, 64.66% turnout was recorded in the first of the five-phase elections for the fifth Jharkhand assembly on Saturday. 

Voting in 13 constituencies, almost all in the Red Belt, including Latehar where four policemen were killed in an ambush a week ago, recorded a marginal rise.

The Opposition alliance of JMM, Congress and RJD is challenging BJP in the polls. In the first phase, Congress is contesting in six seats, JMM four and RJD three. Others in the fray are Babulal Marandi’s Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik), JD(U) and the Left.”

In an ironic turn of events, however, no parties have even brought up the state’s horrific mob-lynching cases this election cycle. The state’s minority and Adivasi communities are not happy

“With at least 23 incidents of mob lynching in Jharkhand between March 2016 and November 2019, the state’s Adivasi and minority communities are incredulous at the consistent silence of major political parties on the issue, and are determined to convey that anger in the voting booth as the five-phase Assembly election gets underway in the state.

The violence, which has largely taken a toll on marginalised population, has been on the rise under the BJP-led Raghubar Das government since 2016.

Even the main Opposition parties, like the Congress, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), and the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik), have chosen to keep mum on the issue during their election campaigns as the accused are not only given a free reign after a nominal jail time, but some have even been felicitated by state ministers of the ruling BJP.

While the Congress promised an anti-lynching law in its manifesto unveiled on 23 November — seven days before the first phase of the election — social activists said the move is “not enough” to convince affected voters of a decisive voice against unabated mob violence.”

3. What more?

In 2018, Kerala’s ancient weaving village of Chendamangalam was devastated by floods. Then, fashion designers and entrepreneurs came together to revive this community — focusing on creating handmade dolls and handloom materials that gave this village its initial days of glory. Here is their story.

4. Anything else?

Ernakulam’s Chitharesh Natesan is soft-spoken and shy. He is also India’s first-ever Mr. Universe, who has 40 eggs, a kilogram of chicken, fish, protein shake, and supplements in a single day. “And that’s just part of what it takes to reach international glory.”

“When you say hello to Chitharesh, what strikes you the most are his bright, shiny eyes and the sparkle in them. He’s dressed casually in a white t-shirt and blue jeans, has an open smile and is gracious. He takes the time to speak to everyone and lets the children feel his 20-inch biceps. They ask him what he eats. “40 eggs, a kilogram of chicken, fish, protein shake, supplements and vegetables. All in a day,” he says. 

This is how much Chitharesh’s food intake has been since January this year. He has been in the gym three times a day working out for five hours, honing that Mr Universe physique. “I have a team of people who work with me,” he says. 

“You won’t believe how much I spend a month on training,” he says (the answer is Rs 1 lakh). “That’s how much it takes to train for Mr Universe, and most of it goes towards diet.”

Chitharesh wasn’t always a bodybuilder. He played hockey while studying for a BA in History from Maharaja’s College in Ernakulam. In fact, he was so competent as a player that he went on to represent Kerala in tournaments. It was while he was doing a second graduation in Physical Education (PE) at the Laxmibai National College of Physical Education in Thiruvananthapuram that things began to turn. “After graduating, I got a job as a personal trainer in Delhi. I couldn’t play hockey any longer”.

That was 2007, the year he started to take weight training seriously. 

He has come a long way since then. He’s got the nickname the Indian Monster, for starters. He has celebrity fans in cricketers such as Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir, who have both tweeted their support for him after the Mr Universe win in the 90 kg category. “That has to be the highlight moment of this win—the cricketing God himself posting about me,” he laughs as he shows off the shoutout.”

5. Is that all?

On Saturday, London once again witnessed a terror incident, with two members of the public having been killed and another three injured due to a stabbing attack at London Bridge. 

“… the stabbing attack, which has been declared a terrorist incident, began at an event at Fishmonger’s Hall.

Within five minutes of being called officers confronted the suspect – who was shot dead by police – she said.

The suspect was wearing what is thought to have been a hoax explosive device.

He was a former prisoner and convicted of a terrorist offence, sources have told the BBC.”

The attack, which comes before the country is set to have another election, might also prove to be a leadership test for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn

“How they respond is a question of judgment. There is no time to stress-test slogans or consult focus groups. Their reaction is instinctive. Do they rise to the occasion or not? In this moment, prime ministers, and those seeking to be prime minister, are presented with the power to lead. How they use it reveals more than dozens of campaign rallies or thousands of leaflets do, because it is them, forced to lead—or unable to.

It is worth remembering that this attack comes just two and a half years after the previous frenzy of violence at the same spot in central London, at a similar point in that year’s general-election campaign, when eight people were killed and dozens of others injured using the same methods designed to spread fear: wild, roving stabbings and fake suicide vests for extra terror. The 2017 London Bridge attack came not long after an even bloodier atrocity in Manchester, when 22 people were murdered in a suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert. Both attacks happened during that year’s general-election campaign, twice causing the contest to pause, while also throwing new political issues into the mix in ways few expected, from foreign policy to the impacts of austerity. The same may happen again this time, or altogether new issues may emerge. No one knows.”

6. Before you leave…

Take a look at these powerful photos of the generation born after the Bhopal Gas Tragedy — “terrifying snapshots of a tragedy that continues to affect the current generation.”

“These are portraits of second and third generation of survivors of the gas leak, who battle a spectrum of disabilities on a scale never seen before in the country. “Cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, Down’s syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, blindness, learning difficulties and gross motor delay are rampant,” he said. “Many of the young adults have multiple conditions. Many are immobile, needing help to wash, eat and even defecate.”

Today, experts acknowledge that while the big tragedy was the gas leak, the bigger one is what has unfolded in the years to come. Protestors and activists continue to fight and demand that the state government not only stop downplaying the tragedy but also give relief and rehabilitation to the victims and their families. But reports show that there are two main variables to see the continuing impact of the disaster: the children born after the disaster, and the water that is consumed even today that continues to be poisonous.”

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