Courtesy: The Hindu dated Oct., 31, 2015

Face is the index of mind, the old adage goes. But the face may not always be the index of mind , especially the rapist and murderer of this Andhra girl, Anuhya (2014).

Esther Anuhya, is a Mumbai-based techie, hails from my home State Andhra Pradesh, India. In fact, she belongs to a town where I studied my graduation - Machilipatnam.

The rape and murder of this 23 year old woman shocked Mumbai on 5th January, 2014 when the crime was reported. No doubt that it is a premeditated incident with parallels to Delhi Gang Rape Incident of 2012. The convict Chandrabhan Sanap posing as cabbie bluffed this girl when she arrived at the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, a suburban Kuirla on that fateful morning. The convict managed to drop at her home in Andheri for Rs.300, but he brutally raped and murdered her on the mid-way. After that he tried to get rid of the body in the bushes along the Eastern Express Highway in Bhandup.

If we go into the details of the case, it was reported that Anuhya was working with IT firm TCS, Mumbai but was found missing from Lokamanya Tilak Terminus Railway Station, as per her family sources. After filing of her missing report at Mumbai, her half burnt body was found on the outskirts of the city on January 16.

The Police after taking clues from 36 CCTV cameras and enquiring from around 2500 people caught the accused and after 22 months of trial, the trial court sentenced him to death. The judgement is a sigh of relief to her parents whose pain anybody could understand.

While writing the judgement, the court observed that when he saw a woman alone, he started planning commission of a rape. he committed the rape and murder, poured petrol on her body and tried to burn it and then abandoned the remains to be eaten by animals. The act was pre-planned... He raped a defenceless lady, the ultimate insult to womanhood, and then eliminated her.

I am living in Delhi for the last 5 years and I find the behaviour of some men in cities is very odd as they try to show extra sympathy to girls and women. It is very difficult to whom we have to believe and to whom not .

Being father of two girls, I advise the girls and women to be extra vigilant even with familiar people. The first lesson is, don't go alone at odd hours, especially after dark. If they require to go, remember that you must keep in constant touch with family/near & dear ones. The mobile phone must have enough battery backup with sufficient balance, if it is prepaid connection. Always use public transport, as far as possible.

It is also high time that companies who employ young women must give a kind of safety net including transport when their women employees come back from leave/ native places.

The Mumbai incident is not an isolated one. Crimes against women are swelling up day by day. Kalpana Sharma who is an independent journalist and columnist based in Mumbai writes a weekly column for The Hindu on woman issues. Her article (dated Oct., 25, 2015 click to read full story ) captioned Lock up the girls ? narrating the agony of a poor 9 year old girl which is very disturbing.

Read a portion of that article here :

Two weeks ago, a woman who lives in the slum near my house came to see me. She looked deeply disturbed. She has a nine-year-old granddaughter who goes to school early morning and returns in the afternoon. Most days, she eats lunch and falls into a deep sleep. That day, while her mother was washing clothes, this little girl fell asleep as usual. By chance, her mother heard something and went up to the loft to check. There she found her neighbour’s 14-year-old son pulling down his pants and hovering over the child, whose undergarments had already been removed. The mother screamed. The boy ran. And the little girl woke up not knowing what had happened.

We can't say that all crimes against women/girls are being reported. The incident narrated by Kapana is one instance of countless happenings in this country and it is very difficult to knit all such sorry tales. There are some deep ethical questions on the behaviour on woman. The idea of woman being seen as a commodity must be gone and society must work on it immediately. We must go to the root of problem by educating the boy child to behave decently and parents must take care of their male children behaviour within the four walls of their homes to put a stop to such ugly trend.

Further, whenever such heinous crimes occur, the law must take quick action and a fitting message must go to the society with exemplary punishment to the culprits without unnecessarily dragging the case due to one reason or other. Delay in dispensing justice would frustrate the victims and may encourage other perpetrators to repeat such heinous crimes thereby restlessness grows in society.

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