One of Jyoti's brutal rapists has committed suicide. His lawyer claims he was "happy" and couldn't have committed suicide; that there's more to this than meets the eye.
My first reaction was - good, I'm glad. As for his being "happy", it made me feel there was no repentance in this vile culprit for his ugly crime and I was glad he was dead. I also felt that for the first time, other rapists, not only the four plus one minor co-accused but any rapist, will be really afraid. I felt that a would-be rapist will think twice because of the possible consequences.
But on thinking about it I felt that the police either messed up or fouled up.
If what the lawyer and the accused's family say is true, it could've been either the inmates, an outsider who gained access or the police themselves who killed the rapist.
If it was the other inmates or an outsider or, if it was a suicide, the police weren't effective in doing their job properly. If the police killed him, they took the law into their own hands. Dispensing justice isn't the job of the police.Their job is to protect the public and apprehend wrong doers.
Either way, the police have let Indians down by allowing or committing this suicide or murder. Whoever commited this crime are vigilantes taking the dispensation of justice into their own hands. What if this happens to someone who is genuinely innocent and in jail while awaiting justice?
Let's see what happens with the other accused in their custody. Indians want justice - not more proof of either police brutality or police ineffective laxity. Indians want a police force that makes them feel more safe than unsafe.
Let's also see what the verdict is for the co-accused. Hope it is what civil society expects - life imprisonment, severe punishment, no visits from families, hard labour and no comforts but NO death penalty.
Note: Feelings about these rapists and what they did to Jyoti are still running understandably high. But this post is about the police failing in their duty to protect a prisoner - any prisoner - in their custody. What do you think are the long term consequences of that?