Justice for Jisha: Silence of national media towards crimes outside Delhi is disturbing

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Dr Kouser Fathima 

This Mother’s Day the sorrow of Jisha’s mother whose young daughter was gruesomely raped and killed was hard to be forgotten.

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This mother was suffering from mental illness and taken care of by her young daughter, a law student.

Reports of harassment by a relative of panchayat and how the police had refused to lodge her complaint are indicative of the sheer helplessness the poor mother had to go through.

There is also growing anger among family of the victim and members of civil society in Kerala that the brutal act has failed to evoke the same kind of response as the country was witness to Delhi’s Nirbhaya rape case.

It was only after a couple of days of the criminal act when it caught the attention of the mainstream media

Why was there a delayed response to the case? Is Kerala very far from the national capital? Are we indifferent to crimes committed on the southern side of Vindyas?

Even the response from the Kerala government was delayed. It took police six days to cordonoff the crime scene and send evidence for forensic analysis.

The rape and killing were brutal. The criminals took out the victim’s intestine and inserted a rod in her private parts.

The Delhi rape case also had similar brutality thereby raising questions about where we are heading as a society?

This girl came from a very poor Dalit family ( even if we ignore her caste identity, the brutality of the crime and attitude of police make it difficult to ignore), she took care of her mentally sick mother, who was abandoned by her father. She had struggled with her poverty and discrimination to reach law college. Tragic that all her struggle turned out to be waste as her life was cut short by a group of monsters.

According to her friends, her mother’s cobdition has further deteriorated after seeing the brutalities committed on Jisha.

Sadly for Kerala, which boasts of 100% literacy, this rape story is utterly shameful. Stories of her being harassed by a relative of village panchayat member are doing rounds but the police has failed to identify any culprit.

Weeks before the rape, Jisha had reportedly gone to lodge complaint against the harassment but the police refused to register her FIR. The impending elections has made all political parties to suddenly take interest in the case but genuine concern is missing.

The public outcry in the wake of Delhi gangrape had given us hope that there will be considerable reduction in the number of such heinous crimes. But our hopes have, once again been betrayed.

Has gruesome rape become a new tool to silence women and is our collective indifference toward such incidents becoming an acceptable norm?

The indifference of national media towards crimes in other parts of nation is disturbing. If not for social media, this case would have gone unreported and even been forgotten?

Our celebrations for Mother’s Day and International Women’s Day will remain meaningless until the safety and dignity of our mothers and daughters are ensured in our society.

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