Haryana

Dera Sirsa Gurmeet's conviction: Our real heroes deserves to be honoured

August 30, 2017 02:49 PM
Journalist Ram Chander Chatrapati, who was shot on October 24, 2002

Col RD Singh (retd)   

We talk of “Beti bachao, beti padhao”,  "selfie with daughters", "women’s empowerment', and what not. Have we remembered  the two rape victim sadhvis,  who for the last 15 years fought for justice, single-handedly? They, the prosecution witnesses No 10 and No 15, have attended every hearing since 2002 and not changed a single word from their original statements. Despite all the pressures, threats to their life and inducements, these women have stood rock-like to fight for justice, and thereby for the dignity for women. One can imagine the hardships and mental trauma these girls and their families must have gone through for 15 long years. Finally, they won because they were brave and had tremendous perseverance. They had faith in themselves and in the judiciary. Hats off to them, as they are the real face of women’s empowerment.

Despite all the pressures, threats to their life and inducements, these women have stood rock-like to fight for justice, and thereby for the dignity for women. One can imagine the hardships and mental trauma these girls and their families must have gone through for 15 long years. 

Then, we have Anshul, the son of the slain journalist Ram Chander Chatrapati, who was shot on October 24, 2002, for exposing the Dera chief.  Ever since then, the young man  ( who was only 21 then) has gone from  pillar to post to seek justice for his father who died upholding the tenets of  upright journalism. Anshul needs to be protected, and honoured for being  a brave and dutiful son. Then there is the fearless cop who refused to be cowed down and saw the case to its finish, the probe officer DSP ( CBI) Satish Dagar (now SP), who did not miss a single hearing, ensured fairness in the case, leading to justice to the rape victims.

May we have more such officers in the force. And then, whose name most of us came to know only on the day of the judgment — the young, strong,  and a no-nonsense judge — Justice Jagdeep Singh. With just about four years service, he has exhibited total professionalism, and added sheen to the name of the judiciary. On August 25, I was  glued to the television since morning, to have a first-hand glimpse of the happenings, hear a far-reaching judgment and also to witness the behaviour of the over two lakh  dera  devotees  who had gathered in Panchkula since August 23.  One was impressed by dare-devil young reporters. They were like real soldiers in the war zone, braving the wrath of the violent crowds yet doing their duty under all circumstances. Without naming them, reporters from Aaj Tak, ABP News, and few others — I could see them  braving stones, smoke, and physical attacks from the protesters. I saw them gasping for breath but reporting the real picture, while their  OB vans were being toppled over and   burnt. Had they not been there, we would have been left high and dry as regards  the ground realities. My faith in the media was reinforced.  Salute to you young friends, and here's wishing speedy recovery to the cameraman who was hit on the head, and the OB van engineer whose leg was fractured.

And here comes a grand salute. It is to the Punjab and Haryana High Court that has been proactive throughout — reminding the government and the police to take timely precautions and action. It is thanks to the High Court that accountability is being fixed for lapses and non-performance. It is also taking serious note of the damages to public and private property, and has directed the Dera Sacha Sauda   to pay for it. This is a very encouraging sign for a healthy democracy and restores people's faith in an upright, independent judiciary. There must be many more who deserve our salute. These are the common people who showed humanity and helped the injured, women and the old. Also, there were many dedicated officers and lower functionaries in the bureaucracy and the police who performed their duty sincerely. I reserve the last word for our Olive Greens — thank you Army for being there.

Gratitude is the hallmark of a healthy society. Let's overcome our fears and narrow interests. It's time to applaud the good, keep our conscience and walk with our heads high.

 

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