Rough justice as woman kills politician she accused of rape
An alleged rape and a violent stabbing left an Indian politician dead and a 40-year-old woman in police custody on Tuesday night, as Rupam Pathak reportedly took the law into her own hands to avenge 18-month-old sexual assault charges.
Bihar state legislator Raj Kishore Kesri was killed in his own home before an audience of dozens by a mother of two after charges first lodged in May 2010 against the four-time representative were reportedly dropped “under duress” from Kesri and his associates.
Pathak will almost certainly be sent to jail for her premeditated crime, after appearing to take what she considered the only option available to punish the man she says raped her.
A local school owner, Pathak was beaten by Kesri’s supporters after the stabbing, and as she was taken to hospital reportedly shouted: “Don’t take me for treatment. Hang me. I don’t want to live anymore. Nobody knows what I have been through.”
In India, the world’s largest democracy, it can often seem that high-powered politicians are outside the rule of law.
A disturbing graphic in Wednesday’s Mail Today newspaper details numerous state politicians and ministers from across India who continue to walk free despite substantial charges of rape and murder.
In Bihar’s neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh, a young girl languishes in jail on theft charges lodged by Purushottam Naresh Dwivedi, a state politician who, as she told police on Tuesday, raped her twice before his aides beat her in the local police station after she was framed for stealing from his home.
Bihar’s deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi told a press conference that Pathak had been attempting to blackmail Kesri for some time: “The police probe, ordered by the government, would unravel the mystery as well as the motive behind the sex slur and slaying.”
But why would a 40-year-old mother of two who owns and runs a respectable private school choose to murder an innocent local politician before dozens of witnesses?