Vizag rape: Auto driver who helped police, held; Isn't police closing the doors to justice on its own face?

andhra-pradesh | Sunday, October 29th, 2017
Pallavi Sengupta
Highlights
  • The autorickshaw driver who had shot the street rape in Vizag has been booked under IPC section 354 (C) and also under IT Act.
  • He has been booked for sharing the video with others, which means media and cops.
  • Ironically, even the accused who was arrested for the crime was not harassed this much.

The Vizag plice, it seems expects all its citizens to be the Singham of their city. Like the top cop in the Bollywood flick, the police also expects the people to help police by stopping rapists and gangsters barehanded and bring them to the police station. Period.

But what next? Even these people would be booked for taking law in their hands as is the case in many trials. The Vizag street rape has given rise to many such speculations. After reports of the auto driver who helped the police get the footage of the incident being booked went viral people have started questioning the decision-making abilities of the police even more. 

It is a general consensus now that people will refrain from helping the police or the victims in such cases from now on. Just like the security of the citizens, safety of the witnesses in such cases should be of equal concern for the police. But not here. True, our constitution directs that a witness to a crime is equally responsible as that of the culprit. But it is to be noted that the auto-rickshaw driver was not a mere witness in this case, but had helped the police in tracing the rapist.

Now that he has been booked, his life is ruined. He now, reportedly fears for his and his family's life. He is said to have gone underground with his wife and three daughters fearing that the accused will harm them. Such is the fear of common man, which essentially translates into the way the driver behaved the way he did. What if the accused was armed? What if he had attacked the driver and ran away. He wouldn't have been caught in the first place? What if the driver, while protecting the woman, had received some serious injuries? Wasn't he the only earning member in the family? No one would have come to his help then as no one came to help the rape victim. These are certain questions that may have crossed the mind of the driver. So, he did what he could best do in such a situation.

And what did the police do?

On the order of the higher ups, the police registered a case against the auto-rickshaw driver. A case under IPC section 354 (C) and also under IT Act has been registered against the auto driver and cops have seized his mobile phone too, according to a report by the Times of India. He was later released on station bail by the cops of Fourth Town Police Station on Wednesday, but not without registering a case against him.

Police cops, however, said that it was due to the pressure from the top cops in Amaravati that forced them to register a case against the auto driver and that initially, they had planned to send him on remand. However, they changed their mind and decided to send him home after registering a case. 

East Zone assistant commissioner of police Anne Narasimha Murthy, speaking to the TOI, said that the auto driver had provided them information. However, his offence lay in the fact that he had shared the footage with others from his mobile phone, thus hinting at the two media persons the driver had shared the footage with. Apart from them, he had shared the footage with two police officers who were registering the case.

It was later said that the police lost its credibility when the media started flinging mud at them, highlighting the loopholes in police protection. This angered them, thus victimising the auto driver.

Having said that, what common man is more concerned about now is whether or not to help a victim of crime anymore, if this was the repayment that the police prefers to give. 
 

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