Right to live

by sanju sharma

-published in the daily ‘republica’ on july11, 2009

A lot has been said on Khyati Shrestha’s kidnapping and brutal murder. The kind of solidarity in opinion of people from different mentality, age, education and profession on this heartbreaking event has proved that we all have humanity and compassion inside us; though buried very deep inside. People have never before felt or demanded the law to have death penalty so strongly before. As the layers of the case are getting unrevealed, we see even more disgusting side of the culprit

This incident shook me really bad. I have not been able to forget the incident as just news. The shock has yet not been absorbed by my system. In this context, a recent discussion I happened to witness between a human right activist and few friends has surprised me. The activist accused the media for being irresponsible in reporting this case by creating unnecessary importance and gravity. I was bewildered by what I heard. Maybe because I personally felt that the media was not giving this case the magnitude of seriousness it should have got. Awareness against such hideous act and tragic consequences are the best remedy when we do not have a law to strongly punish such criminals. These must be the demons described in mythological stories. I felt. Therefore it was shocking for me how on earth anyone could have a second opinion about it.

He begged to differ by adding that the culprit might not be as loathsome as projected because there is a difference in killing someone by cutting into pieces and cutting into pieces of a dead body. The law looks at these differently. The culprit, he said, chopped off the body after she died when he tried to make her unconscious. I felt that it makes him even more dangerous. A person, who can maintain a controlled state of mind after kidnapping a young girl, chop her off in various pieces (live or dead), keep her in a refrigerator, scatter the parts all over the country, collect ransom, gamble in a casino and lead his normal life, could not be human. As per the investigating officers, he does not event repent or is remorseful about what he has done. A teacher, who has influenced another young girl to be an associate, make a prey of someone who has stayed at his house for a long time, the girl who had taken care of his infant daughter and slaughters her like that is unimaginable. Only the thought of everything is enough to send a chill down the spine and make anyone shudder. A teacher by profession, who was educated himself, who had the responsibility of implanting education and humanity in the minds of young children having this kind of psyche is a grave issue. This incident has made every parent fear if their children are safe anywhere.

I just wondered why everyone can not have a similar opinion about the punishment for such crime or criminal. Maybe I never thought I would come across a different opinion about this case. The activist and like minded people must have been unexpected for me. This made me wonder over and over. I still do not know if they are superior human being than me and others who feel a very strong disgust for the criminal. Or they belong to a different, logical, sensible, level headed, more human, more radical, just and impartial race than the mass like me. I still do not know. But I never seem to understand why human right activists always advocate about the rights of the aggressive side, not the victim. In this case also, where are the aspects of human rights of Khyati and her family? Why only talk about the human rights of the culprit? Time and again, it has been felt that they are biased about the voice they raise.

There is not a least debate about everyone should get an unbiased and impartial trial before being convicted. But, the law should be amended to have provisions of capital punishment for criminals similar to Khyati’s kidnapping and murder. I agree it does not put a stop to such crime, but it will definitely make such others think one thousand times before attempting such inhuman acts. It will help a lot to  safeguard other human’s right to live. That is also a major part of human right;right?


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