When we dream of an egalitarian society, we obviously are unable to fathom about the beasts who disguise themselves as human beings and wreak havoc in people’s lives, trampling the universal law of freedom, love and fraternity.
One such heinous incident came to light in the Lakhimpur district of Assam where a young girl, identified as Nandita Saikia, was stabbed in broad daylight on 21st August by Rintu Sharma, who had allegedly proposed her for marriage and the poor victim committed the ‘crime’ of declining it.
The price of saying ‘No’: Assault and Death?
A college girl, Nandita Saikia who was pursuing her Undergraduate course, was attacked with a machete at a bus stop. One of her classmates and her father were also present with her and sustained considerable injuries as the three of them were rushed to the Dhemaji Civil Hospital.
But, was later shifted to Dibrugarh’s Assam Medical College and hospital. Even amidst that distressing incident, some people had obviously not forgotten to be a good Samaritan, as reportedly, after two days of Nandita’s admission into the hospital, they stopped charging for her treatment.
Unfortunately, death got the best of her and she breathed her last on August 25 at the Brahmaputra Diagnostic Hospital in Dibrugarh, where she was shifted again to undergo further treatment on her injuries. Her injuries were severe owing to the machete attack.
Her inevitable demise had left her family and the state in an uproar, for having lost such a bright light and in such a short span of time. It is always heartbreaking to bury someone young.
Who was Nandita Saikia?
Nandita Saikia, like you and me, was a young heart with sparkling dreams in her eyes. She was a student of Moridhal College in Dhemaji and the Principal of the college deeply regrets the loss of such a young talent. He described her as a ‘good girl and brilliant student”.
Daughter of Nabin Saikia, resident of Naba Kathbari village under Dhakuakhana subdivision of Lakhimpur district, Nandita was a gentle soul and a meritorious student. Also, an art enthusiast, she was a promising actress, dancer and recitation artiste. She was a good weaver, skilled in handicraft, a rare passion enjoyed by the youngsters these days.
Who is the wolf in sheep’s clothing, Rintu Sharma and what fate awaits him now?
It is time for us to face the ‘master-mind’ behind the barbaric incident, who orchestrated the whole act without even an ounce of regret. The criminal is Rintu Sharma who is an employee at the same college, Moridhal College, where Nandita was a student. He was a Grade 4 employee and was arrested on the day of the incident itself.
Actress Aimee Baruah had voiced out her outrage and as well as conveyed her condolences to the family. She appealed to the police and the judiciary for exemplary action taken over the accused. Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, Director General of Police, has also assured the public that a strong case has been made out against the criminal.
Protests have poured out in the streets and also in various social media platforms, condemning the brutal crime, as society is torn between mourning the young soul and punishing the criminal. All Assam Students Union (AASU) initiated a protest in Dhemaji demanding a harsh punishment meted out to the criminal and also to assure the Assamese community of its safety.
Twitter is flooded with the same petitions to the authorities asking them for a swift justice to be done. Many local politicians and journalists have also extended their condolences to the bereaved family and have urged the administration for an appropriate measure taken towards the criminal.
Justice delayed is justice denied
Now, as society is shaken by this heinous incident, one important question remains to be answered: When will Nandita get her justice and will it suffice for her parents who have lost their beloved daughter?
Often, the ones left behind carry the scars of an ordeal till they, too, are laid to rest. To have witnessed justice being served may not fill the void left by someone dear, but it surely makes breathing easier for the living and exemplary punishment exempted to criminals is, what as its name suggests does, sets an example that will, to some extent, help in curbing crimes by striking fear.
It is also high time that crimes against women are curbed as many such incidents have tarnished the name of the state and the country. Equal rights and fundamental rights have become decorated principles in a land where goddesses are worshipped with great pomp and show, meanwhile, the daughters of the land suffer from atrocities and violence every day. Now, it is up to the pace of the wheels of justice and bureaucracy to write an end suiting of this tragic tale.