Rassana Case: Counsel of accused persons questions ability, intelligence of women

By Gulshan Bassan

Ankur Sharma counsel of the accused in Rassana rape and murder case questioned the very ability and intelligence of the woman police officer. Shewatambri Sharma is the only woman in the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Crime Branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police which was constituted for the investigation of the said case. In an interview to a TV news channel he stated that being woman it is beyond her ability and intelligence to work on this case. The very question on the ability and intelligence of the woman police officer is basically a question against the womanhood. This question has its origin in the patriarchal and anti women mindset which basically consider women inferior to man. And if I ASK the council of the accused that what if Shewatambri Sharma was a man instead of a woman, then would she have been intelligence enough to handle the case irrespective of her being new in the profession.

Advocate Ankur Sharma further questioned the integrity of the woman police officer that since ‘she is a woman and a new officer, she was misguided by someone’. Here Mr. Sharma is implying that there is no possibility of a man and an experienced police officer to be misguided by someone. This is a very patriarchal statement and against the very spirit of equality and women empowerment. DSP Shewatambri Sharma is an empowered woman and still people infected with the virus of patriarchy are questioning her ability and intelligence. Advocate Sharma must have known that it is impossible to reach at this position without intelligent at which Shwetambri Sharma is standing.

Earlier, speaking to news website, DSP Shewatambri Shatarma had said that accused tried to influence her through different means. “As most of the accused were Brahmins, they over-emphasised their surnames. They particularly tried to influence me and communicated through different means that we belong to one religion and one caste and I must not hold them guilty of rape and murder of the of a muslim girl. I told them that as an officer of the J&K Police, I had no religion and no caste, and my only religion was my police uniform”. Sadly, Advocate Sharma did not find someone who is honest and loyal to her profession as appreciate able. The question raised by Mr. Sharma is a question against the integrity of the woman police officer. And now unfortunately, by questioning so Mr. Sharma has put himself in the suspicion of non-integrity towards his own profession.

The Author is Ph.D scholar at Central University of Jammu

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