Washington/London: The death of all the four accused in the sensational rape and murder of a young veterinarian in Hyderabad on Friday received prominent coverage in the world media which highlighted the enormous public support while also drawing attention to concerns over the extra-judicial executions.
All four men arrested on November 29 for allegedly raping and killing the 25-year-old woman by smothering her and later burning her body were shot dead by police on Friday during a pre-dawn exchange of fire near Hyderabad, a top police official said. The Washington Post in a detailed report said the deaths sparked praise in some quarters in a country that has grappled with a series of gruesome crimes against women and girls. But activists and lawyers said the shootings bore the hallmarks of extrajudicial killings. Killings by police of suspected criminals are so widespread in India that they have their own terminology. Such incidents are known as “encounter” killings, and the officers involved typically state that they acted in self-defense.
Terming it as one of India’s “most troubling” rape cases of recent months, The New York Times noted that the chilling incident was brought to a sudden and shocking end on Friday. “The officers are being hailed as heroes, and were showered with rose petals by residents who thronged the streets of Hyderabad to celebrate what they saw as an act of swift retribution for a horrific crime. So many people poured into the streets on Friday to celebrate that traffic was brought to a standstill,” it said.
News of the police action has been widely celebrated on social media. Many took to Twitter and Facebook to applaud the police, saying they had “delivered justice”, wrote the BBC.
The killing of the suspects proved highly divisive in India, with some celebrating it as “quick justice” while others condemned the police appearing to take the law into their own hands, it said. High-profile cases of violence against women have provoked fury in India. “Activists have called for rape cases to be fast-tracked through the courts and for tougher sentences,” The Telegraph said.