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On July 22, a notice was issued to chief electoral officer (CEO) of Punjab by the Election Commission because a district poll panel allegedly put up a picture of Mukesh Singh, one of the Nirbhaya rape-and-murder case convicts, on hoarding that seeks to encourage people to vote.
The EC took action hours after the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) issued a notice to it over the hoarding put up by the Hoshiarpur district election office. The EC sought a report from the Punjab CEO by July 23.
Mukesh Singh is one of the convicts accused of raping and murdering Nirbhaya in Delhi on December 16, 2012 – an incident that sparked nationwide outrage.
The victim’s mother apprised DCW chief Swati Maliwal that a picture being circulated on social media wherein a picture of Mukesh Singh was displayed on official hoardings in Punjab.
“This is a matter of great shame as it is a clear incident of glorification of rape convict. The matter has caused great pain and hurt not only to the parents of the victim but also to all victims of sexual violence,” The Indian Express quoted Maliwal as saying in the notice.
Maliwal asked the EC to fix accountability for officers, seeking “strictest of actions” against the people responsible for the act.
“The commission has sought the names of the officers responsible for the act and details of the action that has been taken against them. It has also sought the steps that shall be taken by the EC to ensure such incidents do not occur in the future,” Maliwal said.
Maliwal expressed disappointment saying that government agencies are “glorifying” the convict instead of giving him death penalty as ordered by the Supreme Court.
The accused in the Nirbhaya case were awarded the death sentence by the Supreme Court, which termed the crime as “most brutal, barbaric and diabolical”. Mukesh Singh had played a major role in the crime, and was also heard saying that women invite rape.
Hoshiarpur Deputy Commissioner Isha Kalia has ordered an inquiry in the matter and the picture has now been removed from all hoardings.
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