I have been following the recent Malad murders, been wanting to write, but there are things wrong on so many levels, I was wondering where and what to write. So I touch the main thing I see, which everyone else seems to be fine with (as usual). What really runs repeatedly through my mind is that Sachin, the only one of the victims to escape reached the spot to see his friends tied up, and when the goons tried to capture him, he escaped and ran, straight to the police station. This is pretty much the most a regular citizen can do in such a situation. What I found horrifying was that the cops did not believe him!!! Really? They get so many people complaining about assaults and abductions when there is no problem? Even if there were, even if making false complaints to cops were an Olympic sport, checking up was their job. The storyline goes that Pathak arrived at the police station while his goons got the victims out of the Jeep and walking to the spot of their torture. Sachin, the victim who escaped saw them in the jeep. If the police were attentive, they could have saved four lives. The youths had been tortured for hours before being killed. In my eyes, they are party to the deaths, as much as a person driving carelessly is responsible for the death of the person he hits. The intent may not be to kill, but there was criminal negligence. And there are many such cases, where police inaction, complacency or sheer laziness have compounded matters. Be it botched investigations and contaminated evidence, or mishandling of prevention. In each case, make no mistake, it is the policeman making it possible for a criminal to escape or to conduct his crime. I think it is a direct abuse of citizen’s trust for such people to be tasked with their safety. Another article questions why the victims complained in an MNS office first and not cops. If you read this, and many other tales of the police response to crime, and the MNS response, misguided as it may be, with your life in danger, where would you go? The reason I bring this up is because this is decreasing trust in the police. It is no use to blame victims for not approaching cops first. The real question is for the cops. “Why did the victims not approach you first?” and worse, “What did you do after they approached?” As this incident plays havoc with my sleeping thoughts, and news continues to trickle with details, some of the most offensive words on this subject have come from ACP Maruti Rathod, Malad (East) “I am investigating the allegations. If I find that the officers are guilty of negligence, then action will definitely be taken. We have transferred the Senior Police Inspector Mohan Sankhe, as many complaints had been lodged against him in the past as well,” That is half the story, Mr. Rathod, what is that guy going to be up to in his new place of work? And more importantly, how many cops I may need to count on for life and death have been similarly recycled into disservice in my area? In my eyes, that cop, and indeed all cops who heard the complaint and ignored it should be arrested for their role in the killings and breach of faith with the civil society. Whether they get convicted or not, they most definitely should no longer be on the police force. How else do you expect the efficiency of the police force to go up if life threatening mistakes earn no more than a transfer? The police themselves harass anyone questioning faults in the system. I forget the name – the journalist from Midday who got into trouble for his sting in the bad storage of the new post 26/11 gear. The next time we have a 26/11 we will be in the same place again 🙁 Again we will be whining about inadequate equipment, unprepared responses. Police deal with life and death routinely. Surely it is important to weed out those proven incompetent? I suggest that the first VIP in the hierarchy approving the transfer order instead of arresting and prosecuting, use the bad cop for their security detail and leave the good ones free for the public. This isn’t something that needs to be explained or given second chances about. Even if the murders had not happened at that point, abduction and assault are serious enough things that the policemen should have immediately jumped to attention. Leaves me thinking of the numerous stories of kidnapped or missing people. How can we be sure the cops did anything at all to help find them? Criminals exist everywhere. For me the real horror of the story is that the security I imagined existed is a lie. If something happened to me, I can’t count on help arriving on time. Is anyone who matters reading this at all? What will it take to ensure that criminally corrupt policemen are not recycled into blank slate fresh starts in new places?
Founder at Aam Janata
Vidyut has a keen interest in mass psychology and using it as a lens to understand contemporary politics, social inequality and other dynamics of power within the country. She is also into Linux and internet applications and servers and has sees technology as an important area India lacks security in.
Latest posts by Vidyut (see all)
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- A scathing indictment of the once respected, now suspected Election Commission of India - June 5, 2019