Crime and callousness | WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs Crime and callousness – WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs
Connect with us

Blog

Crime and callousness

Justice, in all its manifestations, is essential if the culture of democracy is to flourish. Unbiased investigations are essential to delivering justice to the victims of crime.

Published

on

Pradyuman Thakur
Pradyuman Thakur, (File Photo)

The Pradyuman Thakur murder case raises multiple issues. It reflects the inadequacy of security in our schools. Parents, too, are answerable, if the behaviour of their children raises questions for which they don’t have answers and if they fail to share their concerns with teachers and, if necessary, the management. These issues need to be addressed across the school system.

But what this tragic incident also reveals is the sheer callousness with which our investigating agencies deal with such situations. The utter lack of professional competence and insensitivity is clear from the alacrity with which they identified the accused, a school bus conductor. We were informed through the media that the accused had already confessed. Imagine the consequences for the bus conductor and his family if the investigation had not been transferred to the CBI. Had the CCTV footage not been carefully scrutinised, the named accused would never have been enlarged on bail.

After long years of trial, had the accused not got the benefit of doubt, he would not only have languished in jail but might have suffered a life sentence, if not capital punishment. His family would not only be agonised during his incarceration but would have to face the ignominy of being related to an accused in the murder of a child. Societal angst and TV channels baying for blood would have nailed any chance of his acquittal. No one would have shed tears if he stood convicted.

The Pradyuman case shows how important it is to first investigate and only after objectively assessing the evidence, arrest and prosecute the accused. In India, not always but usually, it happens the other way around. The investigation authorities first arrest, then investigate. Where they want to shield someone, they catch hold of innocent victims. Where they are unable to identify the real accused, they implicate someone innocent only to show their investigative prowess. Our investigation agencies are handicapped in several ways. Their knowledge of the law is scant, to say the least.

Agencies also lack professional skills and are not adept at using technology. So it is easy to arrest, extract a confession, then proceed to create evidence and go to trial. Factors of caste and creed have become so important that investigators are hand-picked for particular cases and where the establishment so wishes, the investigation is tailored to achieve a particular result.

Today, the malaise runs deeper. The political class is using investigating agencies as tools for partisan political objectives. Heads of agencies are chosen to do hatchet jobs. The carrot of extension of service is followed by the grant of permanent status to those who oblige. The spectre of terrorism is sometimes used to eliminate people in fake encounters. These encounters, if discovered and proved, are used to polarise society. National fervour is stoked and the spirit of nationalism invoked. Those responsible for fake encounters are regarded as defenders of the faith.

Courts, at times, turn a blind eye to such victimisation. The prosecution looks on unabashedly when each of its witnesses turns hostile. We know that those obliged to uphold the law have turned a blind eye to crimes committed before their eyes. How else does one explain the absence of prosecutions after the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts?

The Supreme Court had to intervene to ensure investigations through SITs in response to complaints of state complicity in dealing with the riots in Gujarat in 2002. Had the investigations by Gujarat police evoked confidence, the SC need not have intervened. In other jurisdictions, too, investigations have been found wanting where criminal acts acquire a political flavour.

Justice, in all its manifestations, is essential if the culture of democracy is to flourish. Unbiased investigations are essential to delivering justice to the victims of crime. Many horrendous stories of people being accused of serious crimes without adequate evidence, suffering incarceration, being acquitted after seven to 10 years in jail, have come to light. The poor and the defenceless, like the bus conductor in the Pradyuman case, are often the victims. This speaks volumes about the cavalier way in which crimes are investigated. Many innocent victims and their families have suffered at the hands of agencies. There is no one to answer or to be held accountable.

Courtesy: This Article is published in The Indian Express on 20th November.

Disclaimer: The writer Kapil SIbal is a former Union minister and senior Congress leader.

Blog

Inspired reading in the lead-up to Independence Day

Published

on

Indian Flag

Quite obviously, Independence Day – August 15 – means different things to different people. Is it tainted with pain, despair, and bloodshed due to Partition and the long drawn struggle for freedom, or is it coloured with hope and happiness – looking forward towards the endeavours of an independent nation?

Given that it’s a time for introspection, here’s a collection of non-fiction and fiction to draw inspiration from and serve as a beacon for the future.

  • Faith and Freedom: Gandhi in History by Mushirul Hasan

This book offers a meticulously researched account of Mahatma Gandhi – his historical background, campaigns, impact on Indian life, and the guidance he still continues to offer in dealing with contemporary problems. It offers a particularly illuminating and long overdue account of Gandhi’s association with Muslim leaders, and shows how politically tragic religious nationalism can be. Written by one of India’s leading historians, this book is a must read for everyone interested in understanding the political landscape of modern India.

  • Lost Addresses: A Memoir of India, 1934-1955 by Krishna Bose

Krishna Bose was born Krishna Chaudhuri on December 26, 1930, in Dhaka, to East Bengali parents settled in Calcutta. In December 1955 she married Sisir Kumar Bose, son of barrister and nationalist leader Sarat Chandra Bose and nephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. A multifaceted personality – a professor, writer, researcher, broadcaster, social worker and politician – this is her story of her childhood, adolescence and young adulthood.

It vividly describes Calcutta, Bengal and India in the 1930s and 1940s and the early years after Independence. Krishna’s memories of growing up and coming of age are set in the social, cultural and political milieus of the time. She relives how she experienced World War II, the Quit India movement of 1942, the Bengal Famine of 1943-44, the Red Fort trials of the Indian National Army (INA) officers in 1945-46, the Great Calcutta Killings of 1946, and the Partition and Independence in Delhi in 1947. Illustrated with old photographs, this memoir is a valuable historical record, told in flowing literary style.

  • Article 370: Explained for the Common Man by Sumit Dutt Majumder

In August 2019, the government reconstituted the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, abrogating its special status and more closely integrating it into the Indian union. This book seeks to explain the issues surrounding Article 370 and 35A of the Constitution, making readers more informed about this important constitutional, political and legal matter. The beauty of the book lies in the fact that the author writes in a simple and lucid language, avoiding journalese, jargon and legalese, thereby making the issues accessible to the common man.

  • Jallianwala Bagh: Literary Responses in Prose & Poetry – edited and introduced by Rakhshanda Jalil

The Jallianwala Bagh massacre of April 3, 2019, the butchering of unarmed innocents, is a historic event that haunts the human mind even after the lapse of a century. Through a selection of prose and poetry – the direct outcome of this horrific event and an introduction that traces the history of events leading to the massacre – Rakhshanda Jalil, a literary historian and translator from Urdu and Hindi, attempts to open a window into the world of possibilities that literature offers to reflect, interpret and analyse events of momentous historical import. The selection offers ways of ‘seeing’ history, of exploring how an incident that stirred the conscience of millions, found its way through pen and paper to reach the nooks and crannies of popular imagination filtered through the mind of the creative writer.

The acknowledged doyens of Indian literature featured in this volume include Saadat Hasan Manto, Mulk Raj Anand, Krishan Chander, Abdullah Hussein, Bhisham Sahni, Ghulam Abbas, Subadhra Kumari Chauhan, Sarojini Naidu, Sohan Singh Misha, Muhammad Iqbal, Josh Malihabadi, and Nanak Singh, to name a few. A collection that can pave the way for further research.

  • Bridge Across the Rivers: Partition Memories from the Two Punjabs – edited by Jasbir Jain & Tripti Jain

The history of the Partition is neither singular nor static. It appears different from different perspectives. The past is never over; its presence looms large over our present. The Partition narrative exceeds the bounds of history and impacted both collective and individual identities. In some ways it rendered the individual invisible, with identity being transformed into a stereotype, which evoked conventional patterns of behaviour. The heartache and anguish of divided families and frustrated, failed individual lives lay heavy on the joy of a much-coveted freedom.

This collection seeks to debate issues and throw light on discourses other than those of violence and darkness, working with a chronology, located in time. The narratives unfold expectation, hope and harmony, flight and violence, psychological fallouts, gender issues, and questions of guilt and reflection. As the stories trace the shifts in emotions and focus on individual wills, the undercurrents of cultural oneness form a counter discourse.

By Vishnu Makhijani

Continue Reading

Blog

‘There is something indicating India may be moving from Covid-19 exponential rise’

Published

on

By

Wuhan China

New Delhi, Aug 8 : Currently, India is experiencing the worst phase in its fight against Covid-19 with a total of 61,537 new coronavirus cases getting reported in the last 24 hours, taking the overall caseload to 20,88,611, while the death toll mounting to 42,518 with 933 fresh fatalities.

But there may be a silver lining, as V.K. Paul, Member of Niti Aayog, said that the last five-day daily cases data indicate that India may be moving away from exponential rise.

Speaking at a webinar organised by the India International Centre on the topic towards a holistic long term medi-care system — the casede of Covid-19 — Paul, citing the day wise daily new cases data, said, “If we look at the five-day moving average, we could see some kind of stabilization; I do not know whether it is true or random, that only time will tell. May be, there is something out there, which is indicating that we may have moved away from exponential rise and we may be stabilising. But that only time will tell.”

Paul said that the first phase of the Covid-19 pandemic was in the most populous cities, in the western half of the nation, where the pandemic originated. It seems now that the pandemic in this part of the country is now reaching some king of peak. “As we have seen in the context of Delhi,” he added

Paul said, “We still have large swathes of our geography and large swathes of our population, which are naive to this virus….the virus loves people, the virus loves dense places, the virus loves irresponsible citizens who do not look after their respiratory secretions and do not maintain physical distance.”

Citing the data on cases per million, he added that India has 1466 cases per million, and the world average, into the 7th month of the pandemic, is around 2500 per million. Paul said the disease load is modest and warned people not to be complacent, if cases begin to decline. “The trailer is over I think, but we are still before interval,” he added.

He insisted that mortality rates in India continue to be low and in terms of response, home based isolation protocols have succeeded. “Deaths will be imprinted in pages of history, how many deaths happened in this pandemic in a given nation…. Need to keep a sharp eye number of deaths… In case fatality rate, India is currently at 2.06….some of states have below 1 per cent case fatality rate. The highest we have seen for a state is 6 per cent or little above 6 per cent…” said Paul.

He insisted that in India the mortality burden so far has been on the lower side. “We like to keep our case fatality rate below 1 per cent….and it is possible,” he added.

(Sumit Saxena can be contacted at [email protected])

Continue Reading

Blog

Was late TV actor Samir Sharma battling depression, money crisis?

Many similar poems written in Hindi and English, with pain and heartbreak as themes, can be found in his social media accounts.

Published

on

By

Sameer Sharma

Mumbai: Television actor Samir Sharma allegedly ended his life by committing suicide in his Mumbai apartment. The 44-year-old actor was found hanging in his kitchen on Wednesday night. The police suspect that he probably died two days ago.

Recent social media posts of the late actor raise the question if he was battling depression.

On last Monday (July 27) Samir had shared a poem on his unverified Instagram account that reads:

“I built my pyre

And slept on it

And with my fire

It was lit

And all that was me

I burned in it

I killed my dream

To wake up from it

Now my dream is gone

And I with it

I woke up to ashes

And I was in it

I took what was left

And left it in a stream

And hoped my ashes

This time have a better dream.”

On July 20, the actor had shared a short film he made, on his unverified Facebook account. Titled “The Cut”, the effort has been described by the actor as: “A film about the psychological effects of the isolation due to the lockdown on a person living alone.”

Another poem shared by the actor on Facebook on June 8, reads:

“I breathed through you,

I lived through you,

I felt what you felt,

I dreamt what you dreamt

I forgot where I ended

I forgot where you began

I was who you were

But didn’t know who you are

And I didn’t see it coming

I just saw you going.”

Many similar poems written in Hindi and English, with pain and heartbreak as themes, can be found in his social media accounts.

Samir Sharma used to stay in a rented apartment in Malad West, which he had reportedly moved in during February this year. A social media post he shared in the first week of June indicates that he was looking for another change of residence, and was keen to move into a shared apartment.

“Looking for a shared apartment, with independent room in Malad West or Goregaon West, if anyone has a place, and is interested, pls DM me…. Thanks,” posted the actor on Facebook on June 2.

The post raises question if he was facing monetary crisis.

Dr Singh also shared that over the past few months of lockdown, “cases of depression and anxiety among people have increased and that is not only because of confinement but due to several other factors like uncertainty of the future and lack of support which is testing our coping skills”, he said, adding: “Some people are facing economic problems, too.”

Samir Sharma was a popular face on television. He has featured in daily soaps like “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi”, “Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii”, “Left Right Left”, “Woh Rehne Waali Mehlon Ki” and several others. He last featured in the ongoing daily soap “Yeh Rishtey Hain Pyaar Ke”.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Most Popular

Corona Virus (COVID-19) Live Data

COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization.