Friday, last week, an employee of my office was murdered. The lady had left office by the regular shuttle and then the local train. Her husband has supposedly called the HR official past midnight, that his wife is missing and hasn't arrived home from office yet.
The police investigation reported that the body of the lady was found at a place about 60-70 km from the place where our SEZ is present. The lady is said to be identified by the tag of the ID card in her neck.The lady's neck was almost severed, with just one inch of it hanging to the body. Her arms, legs and face are reported to have been broken and mashed. The possibility of rape hasn't been ruled out either.
More than one person is suspected to be involved in it. There is also news going about that it could be done by some people known to her as she wouldn't have accompanied any stranger to such far distances without protest and discussions that nobody would be so brutal if it was for any monetary gain. How does anyone decide how much is brutal, isn't murder by itself brutal and heinous?
The lady on the other hand was apparently the youngest woman to be a Team Lead in our company. She had two very small kids. Was busy and happy preparing for the house-warming ceremony of a new home. As a person, she is supposed to have been a very disciplined and completely straight forward lady, who did not care about speaking out. This is deduced to be one of the possible reasons for her to have got into trouble.
Since the incident there have been meetings about security, work timings for women etc, which brought into light a number of measures which weren't being followed and a number of managers who cared a damn about the women working under them. It's so horrible in certain teams that the girls of the team are working almost on all days throughout the year, staying almost everyday until 10 or 10:30 pm, being denied early cabs, forced to stay even after the senior/manager has left. The meetings were a good opportunity for all of this to be discussed openly. In fact what was a significant thing that came into notice is that the ladies are travelling alone in the cab late at night after work, while the company rules clearly state that no woman will travel alone by cab after 9pm. She has to be accompanied by at least one male employee who will be the last one to be dropped off. In case of absence of such a person a security personnel will company her.
I remember that these rules came into effect after the Pratibha murder case in Bangalore. So many new rules came into existence especially in the BPO industry. Vehicles were not supposed to have tinted glasses, the cab drivers would change everyday etc. No matter what huge decisions are taken when the matter is new, the effect of it, the seriousness of it slowly goes down with time. Time and again it has been seen what fate these cases meet in the court. With the judgement being postponed and the cases running for years, the family members lose the energy and faith to fight for justice. (On this note I remembered, please watch "No One Killed Jessica" if you haven't watched it till now. Awesome movie.)
As of now investigations are running in full swing and hope that something significant comes out of it. It has left different sorts of fear in everyone's mind in the company. I just wish and pray that her soul and family get justice and she Rests In Peace.
PS: The irony is that just one day prior to this incident I read an article on the front page of a leading newspaper titled, "Chennai safest for women, crime bureau data shows".