No title, only facepalm
October 15, 2012 § 30 Comments
To the editorial team of the Times of India, Bangalore edition,
I’m an alumnus of the NLSIU, and pride myself on it, and anything happening to students or faculty of the campus disturbs me greatly. And this IS a disturbing incident. But guess what was more disturbing than this.
Where do I begin?
1. When the Press Council of India, CEDAW regulations, the Supreme Court, almost every body imaginable, comes out with regulations relating to disclosure of names of victims of rape, the intention was NOT so that people would stop naming their kids that particular name. No. Let me break it down for you – the reason is that victims of rape face intense public scrutiny and harassment, and so that they should be able to come to the Police with the confidence that their identity would be kept from the public, at least. Any information that can be used to decipher her identity is undesirable. Understood? So congratulations on not releasing her name to the public.
NLSIU has a “SAARC quota” as we used to call it where at maximum 5 students would be taken in from neighbouring South Asian countries every year. Why her being a “South Asian” student was relevant is beyond me, but at least it isn’t clear… oh wait, you identified her as a 2nd year student. Well done, you guys.
Pointing out the native village of her “friend” is probably useful in some way that is beyond my tiny brain to comprehend.
2. It is IRRELEVANT what the Police say. The question is, what you choose to report. The gory details of the case are unnecessary. Yes, I understand that the public is perhaps concerned about violence in the Jnanbharati Campus and the Nagarbhavi area in general. I don’t see the relevance or importance of the information as to whether a 10 rupee note was thrust into the girl’s hand or whether her IPad was returned to her or not. Since the commenters seemed most excited about these two pieces of information, I assume that’s what you guys were looking forward to.
3. “Jnanabharathi police were tight-lipped about the victim’s whereabouts” – you guys were angling for an interview? Sure thing.
4. “However, the police sought to play down the gang-rape allegations, saying the girl bore no injury or struggle marks during the medical examination.” is full of conjecture. While it may, for the sake of argument, be true that a rape victim bore no injury or struggle marks, the fact is that the Supreme Court and various High Courts, for DECADES, have acknowledged that signs of struggle or injuries are not necessary evidence to prove rape. While the Police may have disclosed the contents of the medical reports (not that I’m condoning that), surmising that this meant that they were trying to “play down the gang rape allegations” is really unnecessary. At least quote the cop and name him.
5. I really don’t see how speaking to the Registrar, Vice Chancellor and students of NLSIU is going to help and I’m glad no one decided to give you any comment. And yes, the Vice Chancellor of NLSIU travels, a lot, you have established that this is some “dream destination” earlier in the article. I can see what you are attempting to do there.
Hey people at the Deccan Chronicle!
I was actually looking to set an example to the TImes of India on how to report a rape case, and I found your article. http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/nation/south/law-student-gang-raped-734
Why didn’t you just post the janamkundali of the poor guy while you were at it?
Thanks so much for the information that she makes friends with men on social networking websites and naming the particular country she was from. Also you guys seem to have gotten reports from “a hospital source” on the whole marks of struggle thing. So you guys have actually outdone the ToI in terms of facepalm. I’m thrilled to bits.
PS: All that aside, the article is an editorial nightmare. Fire your proofreader while you’re at it.
Both of you should take some lessons from the report as published by the Deccan Herald. http://www.deccanherald.com/content/285438/law-student-gang-raped-campus.html
1. No details about the victim were given, besides her age.
2. No details about the friend were given and his name was changed.
3. The statement which was made placing doubts on the version of the victim was attributed to a Senior Police officer and not a conjecture on the part of the reporter.
Oh yes, my qualification to comment on this is that I’ve taught Press Laws and Media Ethics, and have practiced Criminal Law for 6 years. I’m sure this happens in every rape case, and am sure you guys will not clean up our act. But one can only try.