There is palpable anger over the gangrape and murder of the 27-year-old veterinary doctor in Cyberabad police limits of Hyderabad. But within political circles, there is also concern that this should not snowball into another Nirbhaya-like case. The Congress that was in power, both in the country and in Delhi, had to pay a heavy political price after the incident in December 2012 sparked outrage.
If the scenes outside the Shadnagar police station are any indication, the TRS feels the BJP and its youth organisations in particular is trying to whip up passions. The police had a tough time taking the four accused out of the police station to Cherlapally prison, with the crowd swelling in numbers and throwing slippers at the police station.
Its MLA Raja Singh has been in the forefront trying to communalise the crime as well. Sections in the ruling party feel an attempt is being made to dub Hyderabad and Telangana, by extension, as an unsafe city for women and give it a Delhi-like tag. The crime is already being referred to as another Nirbhaya in terms of the horror inflicted and it is not off the mark. The TRS feels that after the opposition’s efforts to ride on the 52-day-old RTC strike failed, this incident could be used to corner the state government politically.
The mistakes made by the police and victim-blaming by the Home minister have not helped matters. The National Commission for Women has damned the police apparatus for its lapses. The Cyberabad police have suspended the three junior officers at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport police station for making the victim’s sister run from one police station to another after midnight, fussing over jurisdiction matters.
Though KT Rama Rao and K Kavitha have tweeted over the incident and four senior ministers met the victim’s family in full media glare, the silence of chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has rankled. Women organisations and opposition parties have pointed this out, asking the CM to own up responsibility.