After five days of eerie silence, the brutal rape and murder of 29 year old Dalit girl, in Kerala is evoking wide spread condemnation in social media. The initial apathy of the political class and civil society in general to the gruesome rape and murder has been criticised by many as the reflection of the differing standard adopted by the society when it comes to Dalit issues. After it sparked outrage on social media, the police have swung into action.
Two persons have been taken into custody for questioning.
Jisha was found raped and murdered at her home at Perumbavoor, some 40 kms from Kochi, the commercial hub of Kerala. Initial inquiry suggests that there were about 30 stab wounds on her body. Her stomach was cut open by the assailants and entrails exposed. There were injuries on her private parts too, police said. Her body was first discovered by her mother on April 28. Jisha was a student of the Government Law College, Ernakulam.
But despite the brutality involved, the gruesome murder initially failed to make any impact, which is often viewed as politically agile. The police initially did not show much interest in the case news papers reported quoting relatives and friends.
The police has not yet revealed the identity of the prime suspects. But the two young men are said to be residing in the neighbourhood of the deceased. Police also ruled out the involvement of workers from other states in the barbaric murder. Perumbavoor, is home to at least 100,000 migrant workers, mostly from West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Odisha.
The rape and and murder which is reminiscent to the 2012 gangrape of Nirbhaya in New Delhi, became a subject of discussion when social media took up the issue and took on the government and police for their “business as usual” approach. After it gained traction on social media, the opposition seized it and has now made it a poll issue in Kerala which will vote on 16 May.
Opposition leader VS Achutandan and other politicians have cited this as another example of deteriorating law and order in the state.
Chief minister Oommen Chandy said the central zone IG will look into the case. He also made it clear that the strict action will be taken against the culprits.