Thursday, January 25, 2007

Nithari killings accused face public fury

The Uttar Pradesh administration just cannot do anything right in the Nithari murder (Noida) case. Most people know by now how the police refused to do their job of investigation so that their crime record remained clean, and are thus to a large extent responsible for the large number of children killed. So, to save image, a number of police personnel were removed from service or transferred. Civic agencies miserably failed at their jobs, given that drains were not cleaned for years on end, and drains were essentially pits where the grisly artifacts could be stored.

Subsequently, after the crime was detected, the police, forgetting all sense of forensic science, allowed parents and other non-experts into the house, mis-handling evidence. For people who have watched CSI or other such crime series, the way that the police excavated the evidence was decidedly low-tech (using non-experts to dig up the remains). After the case was handed over to the CBI, they found lots of additional remains and artifacts, thus exposing the slip-shod nature of the Noida police investigation.

So now, when the suspects are in the custody of the CBI (which in turn depends on the local police for help in transport and so on), the police could not even prevent them from being beaten up by a mob. Read this Indian Express story.

Nithari serial killings accused Moninder Singh Pandher and Surendra Koli faced public fury on Thursday when they were severely beaten up by an angry crowd of lawyers and public when they were produced in a court in Ghaziabad.

As the duo was being brought out of the court of a special CBI judge, where they were produced for renewal of their remand, after closed-door proceedings, lawyers and a large crowd present outside pounced on them raining blows.

It is a common expectation from the justice system, that if a person has been arrested and is in the custody of the police forces, it is their responsibility to protect the accused from harm. The accused face serious and very heinous charges, but our country cannot afford to allow lynch mobs to extract their own form of justice. We may applaud sometimes when lynch mobs may be seen to be dispensing justice, but once such an eventuality happens, what is to prevent mob action against innocents? For example, if a couple who have eloped are
lynched by a mob due to their having broken caste boundaries, would we be still applauding or watching from the sidelines? If people still have doubts, I would implore them to watch the concluding statements from the character played by Ajay Devgun in the movie Gangajal.

The biggest issue that comes out from this incident is that the police force in Uttar Pradesh (Ghaziabad, in this case) are woefully unprepared. It would have been common knowledge that the accused are in danger wherever they go, and yet a mob was able to catch hold of them, and beat them unconscious. This is not a good sign.

Labels: , , ,

If you like these writings, you can subscribe to this feed to get new postsSite Feed Site Feed

posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 10:19 AM