Despite rape case, Mumbai ‘safest city’ for women: Shiv Sena

The Shiv Sena on Monday said the brutal rape and murder of a woman here has shocked everyone, but Mumbai is the “safest city” in the world for women and there should be no doubt about it in anyone’s mind.

An editorial in the Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said the recent incidents of crime against women in Maharashtra were a “blot” on the state’s culture and the feeling of anger among people was justified.

A 34-year-old woman was raped and brutalised with a rod by a man inside a stationary tempo in suburban Sakinaka in the wee hours of Friday. She died at a hospital during treatment in the early hours of Saturday, police earlier said.

The crime bore similarity to the 2012 ‘Nirbhaya’ gang-rape case of Delhi.

The 45-year-old suspect, arrested within a few hours of the incident, was later charged with murder.

The Marathi publication said, “The rape and murder of the woman in Sakinaka has shocked one and all. But, Mumbai is the safest city in the world for women and there should be no doubt about it in anyone’s mind.”

It said incidents like the rape and murder of a woman in Sakinaka area here were a result of a “horrible pervertedness”, which can be seen in any part of the world, and the comparison of the Mumbai incident with the Hathras case (in Uttar Pradesh where a 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly gang-raped and murdered last year) was completely wrong.

The editorial claimed that the Hathras case culprits had the “support of the state’s rulers” and there was a delay in their arrest. The victim’s body was burnt in a hurry by the government to destroy evidence, it further claimed.

“The Yogi government said there was no rape in Hathras, which proved to be wrong,” the Marathi daily said, adding that the urgency with which a team of the National Commission for Women team reached Sakinaka was not shown in the Hathras case.

It claimed that workers of a particular political party took to streets to “protect” the accused in the Kathua rape case (of a minor girl in Jammu and Kashmir in 2018), whereas in the Sakinaka incident, police arrested the accused in 10 minutes.

The only solution to such cases is to curb the perverted mindset, the Sena opined.

“The state government has decided to take care of the education and livelihood of the two daughters of the Sakinaka victim. Isn’t this a sign of being sensitive?” it asked.

It also justified Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale’s comment that police cannot be present at all the scenes of crime. Police in all other states and cities will agree with this, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said.

It further said the Sakinaka rape victim and the accused were known to each other, and added that the woman succumbed to her injuries despite best efforts of doctors and police.

“Now, let’s leave the case to the judiciary. The culprit will definitely be hanged to death as no one has come out in support of the accused, unlike the Hathras and Kathua (cases). One has to know what to politicise,” said the Sena, which shares power with the NCP and Congress in Maharashtra.

It said shedding tears over the Sakinaka incident showed “sensitivity of the mind”, but when crocodile tears are shed, it creates fear and the seriousness of an incident is destroyed.

“Let the police do their job. But, what can one do if someone wants to hand over the Sakinaka (case) file to the ED (Enforcement Directorate),” the editorial said sarcastically, alluding to multiple cases pertaining to state leaders being probed by central agencies.