Even seven months after Shakti Mills became a dark blot on Mumbai’s landscape, after a young photojournalist was raped there, the place is far from secure.
Reports which focussed on the area, even as the judgment on the accused came out, said that though there was an effort to have greater vigil in the area, more security guards, an iron fence near the tracks to stop people from jumping over the wall near the tracks and into the mill area, and some lights, much more needs to be done to ensure that this huge plot is adequately manned.
The area is a haven for druggies who are frequenting it even now. When the Mills came under scrutiny post the gang rape, the locals and hangers-on at Shakti Mills stated that drugs were a huge problem here.
Today, we see that there has been some alleviation in the problem, as the security guards have stated that the police have been particularly responsive to complaints. Officers from the nearby police station arrive at the scene within 10 minutes.
Yet, the guards speak about how they are threatened by unsavoury elements with weapons. What match are lathis and batons to swords and other weapons by which they are threatened? It is time the owner and authorities move to make this vicinity watertight in terms of security.
Meanwhile, it is shocking to read how the families of the rapists are defending them, saying they were influenced by the “bad company”. While it may be natural for the family members to defend their kin, this kind of brutality and crime is simply indefensible.
The families need to think what if they were in place of the girl who was raped? Would they continue to defend the criminals even then? While it is unfortunate that these families have lost a breadwinner with these convicts in jail, it is unthinkable that the rapists should go free or be pardoned for their crime. The families must think before they rush to defend these men who they claim were misguided.