The brazenness with which Vinay Kumar, a 24-year-old Delhi Police constable, gunned down his sister’s in-laws before killing himself, psychologists believe, was triggered not just by the cumulative effect of a decade of frustration but also by a sense of betrayal at the hands of the judicial system.
Kumar was 14 when his sister committed suicide at her husband’s house in outer Delhi’s Bakhtawarpur village Kumar’s anger and hunger for revenge apparently ate away at the threshold of his tolerance, one year at a time.
“Forgiveness can override a sense of loss and lack of redress — but such a trait cannot be expected to be common,” said Dr Nimesh Desai, head of the department of psychiatry at the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IBHAS).
“Normal people not only require closure but also a system of justice, which can satisfy their own sense of justice. So, the problem also seems to lie with the modern criminal justice system which is more punitive than reformative.”
Kumar’s “break point”, police said, came on Wednesday when he realised that the outcome of his case in the Delhi High Court may not be favour him and his family. That had upset him.
Unable to accept or cope with the pain that the court order inflicted on him, Kumar, a native of Sonipat in Haryana, shot her husband Manoj Kumar and his mother Prakashi Devi, 62, before killing himself.
“For all his targets — including himself — the main driving force seems to have been the aggression seething within him. It was also a cry for help from a frustrated man,” said Dr Rajesh Sagar, additional professor of psychiatry at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.