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The illusion of human rights in South Asia

Extrajudicial killings, torture and unfair laws paint a grim picture of state-driven oppression

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The illusion of human rights in South Asia

An Indian policeman walks past as people hold a candlelight vigil in Bangalore on Dec. 6 in support of sexual assault victims and against the rape and murder of a 27-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad. (Photo: Manjunath Kiran/AFP)

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Only hours after police in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad killed in “an encounter” all four men accused of the rape and murder of a veterinarian, many people in the country exploded in wild cheers.

Men and women chanted cheerful slogans and came rushing to congratulate police, flooded them with flower petals and distributed sweets. Some even set off firecrackers in great delight.

“This is what these filthy animals deserved and the police have done a great job,” some chanted as people from all walks of life, including politicians and film stars, hailed the police as heroes.

Only a few people including rights activists questioned how the extrajudicial killing of the accused on Dec. 6 was permitted in a country famed as “the world’s largest democracy.”

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