Wednesday, January 05, 2011

As guilty as Rupam Pathak

The murder of BJP MLA Rajkishore Keshari by a school principal Rupam Pathak has brought back Bihar in news, albeit for a wrong reason.

The popular MLA was stabbed in full view by the lady when Kishore was receiving visitors at his home in Purnea. According to her, the MLA along with his associate had raped her earlier.

During the election campaign in the state earlier, she had filed an FIR against the MLA but later withdrawn her complaint saying that she had registered her complaint under the influence of political pressure from opponents of Kishore .

This crime in itself cannot be termed or seen as just another murder. For two reasons.

Firstly for a forty three old educated lady to kill someone that too in public without giving a damn to her life which she knew would be at perils once the supporters of the MLA catch her in itself speaks about the mental stress and pressure that she might be experiencing for a long period of time which finally burst out in open through the killing of Keshari. What prompted such a drastic step?

Secondly and perhaps the most important issue is the reaction that immediately came from the state government.

Senior BJP leader and the Deputy CM, Sushil Modi along with CP Thakur, the state BJP chief in a joint press conference that was held immediately after the incident virtually tied the noose around the killer when they announced that Rupam Pathak was blackmailing Kishore and when he resisted she killed him. The verdict was out even before the police could start its investigation.

While announcing their verdict the BJP leaders have already told the investigative agency what they want from the investigation. Modi said that the lady acting on behalf of the political enemies of the MLA had earlier too filed a police complaint against Kishore but later withdrawn it. There by casting a question on her integrity and character.

The deputy CM failed to presume that what if in reality atrocity was committed on the women by his party leader? He also failed to understand that by calling her a criminal he has pressurise the state police to act in a premeditated way which would curve the outcome of the investigation on a particular line. He couldn’t comprehend that how difficult it would have been for an educated, a mother and someone who is a principal of a school to think of killing of such a popular leader that too in full view. No, I don’t think that she acted because of any political opponent of Kishore cajoled her to use the sixteen inch knife and neither I believe that since he refused to give the money she killed her.

It was a situation where the human mind was cornered from all sides and the only way it could have come out was through the killing of Kishore.

I am not in any way protecting Rupam Pathak nor I am saying that she shouldn’t be punished. She should be punished with the severest law of the land. But what I am questioning is the conduct of the state administration when they pronounced Pathak guilty of moral turpitude. She is guilty of murder but does that crime robs her of her integrity and character?

With a common woman taking the proverbial ‘law in her own hand’ we need to question that has the criminal system of our country failed so much that now every second day a Rang De Basanti scenario will be played on the streets? The answer is Yes.

As people’s confidence and belief in law will decrease the ambit of of lawlessness will increase.

As Nitish Kumar bask in the glory of good governance and the pride of being declared the Indian of the year it is very essential that he doesn’t ignore this incident as one of the many murders that happens all over India daily. Way back in 1994 when the “pride of Bihar” Lalu Prasad Yadav was in power a similar incident had occurred when a Janata Dal MLA Yogendra Narayan Sardar raped a 16 year-old dalit girl. The MLA was later arrested and the then state government contrary to what the present NDA has done provided the victim girl a government job.
The judiciary will take its own course is this brutal murder which in all probability will end with the conviction of Rupam Pathak. But why was she was forced to take such a drastic step will linger in our mind for a long period of time. Equally painful will be the conduct of the state administration which condemned a woman guilty of moral indecency just because the man who died was one of their own party member.

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