Outrage grows over Hyderabad rape case

People hold candles during a prayer meeting demanding justice for the rape and murder of a 27-year-old veterinary doctor from Hyderabad, in Mumbai on December 1, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 02 December 2019

Outrage grows over Hyderabad rape case

  • The victim, who worked at a government hospital, had spoken to her sister before the incident took place

NEW DELHI: Public anger spilled on to the streets of the southern Indian city of Hyderabad for the second consecutive day on Sunday, with several demanding capital punishment for the four men accused of raping and burning to death a 27-year-woman on Wednesday night.

Hundreds of residents from where the victim resided took to the streets and stopped police, politicians and the media from visiting the girl’s family, seeking immediate punishment for the men who were arrested on Friday.

“We want the same treatment to be meted out to the culprits — they should also be burnt to death,” said Kanchan Rao, who was holding a placard with the slogan “No sympathy, only action, justice.”

The four arrested are two truck drivers and two cleaners who, it is alleged, gang raped and killed the 27-year-old veterinarian near a toll plaza on the outskirts of Hyderabad, when she sought help to fix a tire on her motorbike.

Police said that after killing the woman, the culprits took the body to a nearby area and burnt it, where it was discovered on Thursday morning.

The victim, who worked at a government hospital, had spoken to her sister before the incident took place.

Audio from the conversation triggered public outrage and sparked protests across the country when it was released — with tensions heightening over the fast-moving case.

“I don’t believe the police have arrested the right persons,” said Jameela Nishat, a Hyderabad-based activist and founder of Shaheen Women’s Resource and Welfare Association, an NGO working for the rights of women.

“I along with hundreds of women came with the hope that justice will be done for the victim’s family. The administration should show more promptness in ensuring safety for women in society. This is not the first case of rape, such incidents have become common these days and we are worried,” Nishat told Arab News.

“Hyderabad has always been a safe city. For us it was unbelievable to learn about the tragedy. It reminded us about the Nirbhaya case in Delhi in 2012 in which a 23-year-old paramedic (called Jyoti Singh) was raped and killed by five men on a bus. The incident shook the conscience of the nation and it led to a mass movement,” said Nishat.

Pooja Kumar, who also participated in the protest, said that “security is our right, it’s not a gift. The incident like this leaves a chilling impact on women.”

There is anger among people against politicians and police, who refused to register the case immediately after the incident.

Several also expressed anger at the comments made by Telengana Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali, who said that the victim should have called the police instead of her sister.

Several Indian celebrities also weighed in to the public discourse, expressing anguish at the incident.

“These are the worst kind of shaitans (demons) disguised in human form. The pain, torture and death of innocent women should now bring us together ... before any other innocent women go through this extreme agony and loss,” Bollywood actor Salman Khan said on social network Twitter.

Actor-filmmaker Farhan Akhtar said his heart went out to the family.

“What those men did to her is another dark reminder of how unsafe we’ve allowed our society to become by not delivering swift and telling justice. My heart goes out to her family in their hours of unimaginable grief.”

Meanwhile, the local bar association announced that it would not take up the case of the accused in court, citing “moral and social responsibility.”

Singh’s father, Badri Nath Singh, demanded the “harshest punishment for the accused.”

He told Arab News: “The problem is that the system is slow and it takes endless time for the government to act. My daughter’s culprits are still alive despite receiving death sentences.”

Hyderabad-based political analyst Venkat Narayan said that “such incidents are not only a blot on the society, but affect the image of India abroad.

“The tragedy is that despite having a strong stance on violence against women, crime against them is increasing. The frequency of rape incident is also increasing. There is something fundamentally wrong with the way we raise our sons. The patriarchal system is still very dominant, despite women having larger public space now than before,” Narayan said.


Interpol warns of ‘alarming’ cybercrime rate during pandemic

Updated 04 August 2020

Interpol warns of ‘alarming’ cybercrime rate during pandemic

  • Cybercriminals are increasingly using disruptive malware against critical infrastructure and health care institutions
  • There was also an increase in the spread of fake news and misinformation which sometimes itself conceals malware

LYON: Global police body Interpol warned Monday of an “alarming” rate of cybercrime during the coronavirus pandemic, with criminals taking advantage of people working from home to target major institutions.
An assessment by the Lyon-based organization found a “significant target shift” by criminals from individuals and small businesses to major corporations, governments and critical infrastructure.
“Cybercriminals are developing and boosting their attacks at an alarming pace, exploiting the fear and uncertainty caused by the unstable social and economic situation created by COVID-19,” said Interpol Secretary General Juergen Stock.
“The increased online dependency for people around the world is also creating new opportunities, with many businesses and individuals not ensuring their cyberdefenses are up to date,” he added.
The report said cybercriminals were sending COVID-19 themed phishing emails — which seek to obtain confidential data from users — often impersonating government and health authorities.
Cybercriminals are increasingly using disruptive malware against critical infrastructure and health care institutions, it added.
In the first two weeks of April 2020, there was a rise in ramsomware attacks, in which users have to pay money to get their computer to work again.
There was also an increase in the spread of fake news and misinformation which sometimes itself conceals malware, said Interpol.
From January to April, some 907,000 spam messages, 737 incidents related to malware and 48,000 malicious URLs — all related to COVID-19 were detected by one of Interpol’s private sector partners, it said.
The agency warned the trend was set to continue and a “further increase in cybercrime is highly likely in the near future.”
“Vulnerabilities related to working from home and the potential for increased financial benefit will see cybercriminals continue to ramp up their activities and develop more advanced and sophisticated” methods, it said.
Once a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, Interpol said, “it is highly probable that there will be another spike in phishing related to these medical products as well as network intrusion and cyberattacks to steal data.”