Death to rapist: A comforting verdicttext_fields
The capital punishment that Kochi POCSO Court Judge K. Soman handed to the Bihar native Asafak Alam for horrendously raping and killing a five-year-old daughter of a migrant Bihar family living in Aluva on July 28 has been widely appreciated. The man lured away the girl, who was playing in front of her home, offering sweets. Pointing out as the rarest of the rare incident, the judge said the culprit did not deserve any mercy being a menace to society. The court found the man guilty of the each of the 13 sections charged against him and meted out punishment to each. Alongside handing him capital punishment under Section 302, the court ensured life imprisonment under POCSO Act and for other five crimes and particularly made it clear that the convict will have to serve life imprisonment till the end of his life. The court refused any concession in punishment despite defense lawyer requested it on the grounds of the convict being only 28 years of age and has still the off chance of repentance. The fact that Asafak Alam had raped a 10 year-old girl in Delhi and served a month before being out on a bail and absconding subsequently strengths the court verdict. It is all the more so considering the fact he had the habit of reveling in sexual perversions.
Following the heartrending ‘Nirbhaya Incident’ in Delhi, Centre’s POCSO laws have been handing out severe punishment in rape cases where minor girls are the victims. However, crime records reveal that the brutal incidents of young girls being raped and killed for sexual gratification have only increased across the country 11 years since the laws came into force. Alarming rise in drug use, police’s grievous lapse and delay in apprehending the culprits, lack of scientific evidences and snail’s pace in court trials are also among the reasons. Alongside, the fact that bribery and backdoor influences enfeebling the cases remains unacknowledged. It is against this backdrop Chief Minister and others have whole-heartedly praised the police for probing and bringing the poignant suffering of five-old in Aluva to justice in unusual speed.
If the officials who pulled off the probe efficiently and vigilantly in just 110 days and if others were able to model themselves on the example, the country’s rising graph of crimes can be brought down. However, it is no easy task to apprehend a culprit quickly after a crime was reported alongside gathering evidence and witnesses. It is all the more so considering the backlog of millions of cases languishing in courts. Hence it is important to engage in soul-searching over how far today’s education and socio-cultural scenarios contribute to such horrendous crimes in order to find solutions. Asafak Alam has been sentenced by the POCSO court. Naturally, the appeal should be expected. There will be the flood of those cry for abolishing capital punishment. Those who argue in favour of offering opportunity to repent no matter how heinous a crime is as it is a natural consequence of circumstance are not idiots or criminal-minded themselves. Many countries have already abolished capital punishment and in our country calmour for it is on the rise. However, our courts hand death sentence to only rarest of the rare crimes. It is important to remember the fact that social security is more important than a criminal’s repentance.