It is very common to have selfish, ignorant people who would not like to know about the suffering of anyone keep talking about how "outraging on Twitter achieves nothing". Their oblivious state registers no information flows, public opinions formed, or help offered and received. They have decided that help is not this, and that is that.
While they are responsible for their own lack of insight and observation, this is a good time to point out the obvious.
Each person has their own account and are free to use them how they like. How I run my account is my business. You like, you subscribe, you don't like, you don't subscribe, you are unbearably offended by me saying whatever I want to say, you block. That is the extent of your rights regarding my account. Therefore, going on and on about disapproval is nothing but spiteful, juvenile trolling.
If you look beyond your tiny little interest space, which seems to be the only valid use of social networking in your view, there are a whole lot of other uses. From businesses offering support to activists in countries with severe censorship of media quickly getting news out.
About human rights - the subject that seems to offend these obnoxious royals the most: There are a whole lot of other people beyond you. Political leaders, bureaucrats, journalists, bloggers, social workers, NGOs, activists, people interested in news about human rights, people needing help.... They connect. Many useful things emerge.
Journalists and politicians get direct access to views of people. If you outrage on something, it means that something is hurting your interests, and on social media, your hurt matters.
All sides of different issues find voice, which is invaluable in helping people understand situations better and make more informed choices that are likely to accommodate the interests of more people - precious in a diverse democracy like ours. Good example would be the Janlokpal campaign, or the objections raised to recent raids on pubs and bars. The ability to hold multiple sides of an issue creates precious space for reconciliation.
Here is how outrage on Twitter has directly influenced many happenings in the world:
Last year's uprisings. From the Janlokpal movement to Occupy Wall Street to the Arab Spring. Sharing of views and influencing opinions and organizing was heavily facilitated by social media. Yes, the Kashmir protests too.
Lost people found, lost animals found, blood donations organized and in one case, even a kidnapping prevented.
Attention to human rights abuses forces politicians and bureaucrats to take notice and act. Latest example being the Guwahati molestation, but there really are countless examples here.
Awareness of issues of grave wrongs that media normally does not cover. Often, this awareness leads to media coverage. Examples on this blog are Keenan and Reuben murders, Naina Singh's murder.
Those without voice being heard: As the internet penetration improves, it is helping... particularly social networks are helping people who are marginalized get their voices heard. Google CGNet Swara for an example.
This list can go on and on, but the point is made.
Do not make the mistake of thinking words are only so much air. Words are ideas. Yours may be worthless according to you, but there is more to the world than you. You may find mine worthless, but then it is highly unlikely that I have pinned my hopes on your comprehension or empathy.
Therefore, to mind your own business and not try to censor people with taunts, sarcasm or trolling.
Yesterday, I wrote about Naina Singh's death and how the police conspired to deny her mother avenues of justice by denying her an FIR. The FIR is a first information report. It is the basic record that your problem has been received. It is a basic right. Read this document to understand FIRs better.
In spite of this, Naina's mother, Malti was repeatedly refused. The police dismissed her with increasing rudeness. A mother was left struggling for her daughter's unlawful death to be acknowledged rather than grieve her personal loss.
Naina's mother has a rough deal. With her husband ill, she has had to face difficult times making ends meet. In addition to that, there were demands for dowry which she could not afford.
In the meanwhile, among relatives shocked with this callousness was a young man in London working for an MNC... Jeet had seen his aunt struggle for years and admired her bravery in fighting all odds to support her family and he was frustrated with this utter callousness in the attitude of the police.
Knowing the power of social media, he took to Twitter and started tweeting all the information on the incident that he knew, and approaching various personalities in the hope of drawing media attention to this miscarriage of power.
It worked. One of my followers came across his tweets and forwarded them to me. Similarly other tweeple came across the tweets and we all, in our own ways magnified his voice, contacted people who could verify the story and help his aunt out.
However, it was late at night and some miscommunication delayed the identification of Jeet's aunt. Finally, yesterday afternoon, we got the information and Tehelka immediately sent a journalist to accompany his aunt to the police station.
Ghaziabad SSP of Raghuvir Lal, whom Malti met, told TEHELKA, "An FIR cannot be lodged because this might be a case of natural death. It should have been filed before the cremation so that a post-mortem report could have been filed."
This was beyond bizarre. What do they do for missing women? How can't an FIR be filed? The police initially refused to file an FIR again, but the reporter and Naina's mother refused to move out of the police station without the FIR in hand.
Soon after that, we received an update from @karunajohn that the FIR had been successfully filed and that a copy of it was with the mother.
According to IPC Section 304B, "Where the death of a woman is caused by burns or bodily injury or occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances within seven years of her marriage and it is shown that soon before her death she was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any relative of her husband for, or in connection with, any demand for dowry, such death shall be called "dowry death". Such husband or relative shall be deemed to have caused her death."
@karunajohn confirmed that investigations would proceed along the lines of a dowry murder. We heaved a sigh of relief.
However, as the day went on today, I had started to feel increasingly uneasy over the lack of any news about the in-laws being arrested. If an FIR for dowry related murder was filed, how was it that no one was arrested?
The first sign of a problem happened when Sumit Nagpal shared on Twitter that he had spoken with Naina's mother and that it sounded like she had made a complaint and not filed an FIR. It confused matters for a while, because we thought there was a misunderstanding.
@Vidyut lady told police is looking into the matter.. Dont know if they have filed the FIR or not! The reporter concerned will tell me more!
This was the doubt nagging me all day. Why hadn't the in-laws been arrested and child given to Naina's family? Surely and FIR for murder would mean a non-bailabile warrant? But there was no mention of Naina's in-laws being arrested.
In the meanwhile, the rest of the background of dowry pressures by Naina's in-laws was known from the Teheelks article. Equally scandalous and scary was Jeet tweeting that Naina's mother had been told on earlier attempts to file FIR that she would get custody of the one year old baby if she didn't file an FIR.
In the meanwhile, her husband's family told Tehelka their version. The mother-in-law says they did not ask for dowry. She lists a whole list of things Naina didn't give. Were they an unfulfilled expectation or simply common examples of dowry? We don't know.
Her husband said that she had been suffering from TB and had been cured a few months back, but had started getting fever again. Her mother says that she spoke with her daughter and she sounded ok. Would her health deteriorate that rapidly from TB? I don't know. It could also be some other health complication that came up. Without the body, that is impossible to know.
Here is Tehelka's video of their coverage of this case:
In my communications with Jeet, he mentioned several times that neighbours will vouch for seeing marks on Naina's neck as well as bribing police officials.
I am not saying that the in-laws ARE guilty or not. That is a matter of investigation, but the real concern here is that an FIR is not filed at all for such a serious allegation. Our laws are clear on this - the FIR should be filed any time it is requested. The time lapsed after death can't be a refusing factor. Yet, in the video, we hear the inspector clearly refusing to file an FIR because without the body they can't do a post mortem.
Hmm... so all a murderer needs to do to get off scot free is to cremate the victim and the inspector will not investigate? Is that what the inspector is saying? I see the inspector as an accessory to the murder in that case. Should he be handling it at all?
This was looking shadier and shadier. I suppose the real question was if the police had the audacity to fake off some paper to get rid of the aunt and journalist and STILL avoid filing an FIR!
The confirmation that the paper indeed was an FIR is in progress. I will update here as soon as I know. [updated below]
Hi @karunajohn can u pls confirm that an FIR has indeed been lodged & it wasn't just an applicaton to the police?Thnx @Joydas @Vidyut @BDUTT
In the face of all this confusion, I called up Malti Singh herself to ask her about the status of the FIR and other information that seemed missing.
She says she had a complaint that was stamped and recommended by the SSP for further investigation, but no FIR. The paper that the police gave in the presence of the Tehelka team was apparently an acknowledgment of receipt and they snatched it back from her once the reporter left.
It is clear that an FIR has not been filed - pretty much like Sumit Nagpal raised the alarm.
Malti Singh is also very concerned about the well being of Naina's son. She fears that he may come to harm from the in-laws out of anger. The police are not interested in following up on this either.
I asked Malti Singh about the death certificate - if she knows anything about that - generally you need a death certificate when cremating a body. She said to her knowledge, there hasn't been any death certificate at all, but after cremating her, on the next day, the in-laws got some small time doctor to write that she had been ill. According to Malti Singh, her daughter did not have TB and had not been ill and was in good health.
@rashmi_amin Baby is with the in-laws but the neighbours informed us that he is not well.
Malti Singh repeatedly asked me to arrange for the safety of Naina's child and to get her justice. She thinks the child is not safe. Over and over, she asked me that if I really wanted to help her, to do something to protect the child.
I also asked her about the earlier tweets of Jeet - about neighbours seeing marks of strangulation on Naina's neck. She says there were purplish marks both on her neck and wrists. She did not see them, but several neighbours told her and she wants the police to hear this, but they are refusing.
She said that the police have been bribed to ignore the case. I asked her if she knew this for certain or if anyone had seen it or told her, she says no. She concludes this from the changes in the actions of the SO.
The first time she went there, he had listened to her attentively and reassured her that she had a right to file the complaint any time. She suspects that they wasted her time and then approached the in-laws for a bribe to get them off the hook. It is unclear why the FIR was not filed in the first visit itself when the SO was being agreeable.
Things changed from the second visit. The SO dismissed her, told her an FIR can't be filed and to do what she wanted to do, but nothing would be done about the case. He threatened to throw her in prison too. Regardless of all else... this seems to be a very strange tone to take with a mother who has just lost her daughter.
Malti had approached the SSP who recommended that her complaint be investigated. She was called to meet him again yesterday, but he is out of town now. She is supposed to meet him next on Friday.
I am not an investigator, and I am not a journalist. I am not claiming to say who is right and who is wrong, but it is abundantly clear that even with a journalist putting pressure on the spot, the police have clearly wriggled out of filing an FIR - in contradiction to our country's laws, in contradiction to explicit directions by the Supreme Court.
In my limited capacity as a blogger, I am only reporting things exactly as I heard them without making any claims or confirmations of my own. But this thing needs told.
There seems to be a massive effort to silence this whole thing. Which means that we must hold it up and support Malti Singh in getting justice for her daughters death through proper procedure.
Because this kind of impunity is dangerous to us all.
In Naina Singh's Case What is Now transpiring after yesterday after going through all the papers and records.
Thats the mother, father filed a complaint before the SSP Gaziabad regarding the suspicious death of her daughter Naina Singh. They doubted the death of naina Singh on the cause of TB and said it was a murder andand reson of death is not fullfilling the dowry demand of the in Laws which they were demanding since the beginning of marriage.
They Said in the complaint that death was because of some poisonous food, given to her.
The SSP forwarded this complaint to concerned police station Vijay Nagar, Gaziabad for the inquiry of the case and to sumbit their report.
The SHO of the police station submitted his report on 18.10.2011, stating that the cause of the death is TB not the Dowry as claimed by the Parents of Naina Singh. The Reson stated by the SHO is that due to lack of proper m,adication Naina Singh died.
The SHO further said the its a case of natural death and No suspicion found.
The mother Mrs Malti Singh is still not satisfied with all the thing stated by the SHO in the report.
On seeing facts and circumstances , Now its very difficult to get a case registered against the in-laws. The remedy which we have is 156 (3) CrPC for get the FIR registered, But Now after police report dated 18.10.2011, its become a futile exercise ti file 156 (3) application before magistrate for registration of FIR.
The Remedy we still have is, a complaint Case for summoning the in-laws under Section 200 Cr.PC read with section 174 (3) CrPC. On where we could seek the summoning of the in-laws on ground of the suspicious death.
And regarding the act of the Police on non-registration of FIR, we can still move to High Court under Article 226 CrPC on the ground of that Denial of Registration of FIR on part of state machinery is bad in law and as an additional prayer we could seek the enquiry of the case by an independant agency.
We still have little hope in this case and a little hope some times make us to get justice, but we should pursue it tactically and with timely steps.