The cover story of the latest issue of a leading news magazine is titled 'Portrait of Evil'. It is about a businessman and his man-servant, accused of raping and killing many young children in a house owned by the former in Sector 31 (Nithari), NOIDA (a Delhi suburb, which otherwise lies in the state of Uttar Pradesh). It provides all the grisly details of the manner in which the two men are suspected to have gone about their dark deeds over the past two years or so, along with the details of the investigation carried out by the police.
Apparently, the servant lured the victims into the house and handed them over to his master, who sexually abused them and then handed them over back to the servant, who, in turn, meted out the same treatment to them, after killing them. Later, the servant dismembered the bodies and disposed them off by throwing them into a municipal drain.
All of this has been covered extensively by the print as well as the electronic media since December 29, 2006, when the duo were finally arrested.
The two men had reportedly been picked up for questioning several times before this, only to be let off upon the payment of bribes.
However, what the story makes no mention of and what many other sections of the media have not highlighted, is the fact that when the Uttar Pradesh government distributed blankets to the parents of the murdered children, some of them refused to accept these and others even tried to set fire to the blankets.
The anger and outrage might have seemed quite understandable and I might actually have empathised with the victims' family members, had I not known that each of the families had earlier accepted a cheque for Rs.2,00,000/- per murdered child, as compensation from the state government. Some of the parents did try to return the cheques, only to demand houses instead!
I wonder whether the serial rapists and killers should be described as more evil, or whether such a description would be more apt for the unfortunate children's own parents, who sold their offspring's souls for two lakh rupees each, without even a hint of remorse, at the hands of corrupt law-enforcers and politicians.