I was amused to find out two news items today that had almost an identical storyline and more than a common thread. In both stories, one from Australia and the other from China, the news concerns women reported dead and reappearing after a gap of more than a decade. In the case of the Chinese woman she had voluntarily shifted residence, taken a new identity and refused to go back to her family even after they found her alive after probably 24 years. In the other case the woman had really gone missing and re discovered by chance after more than ten years. What is more interesting is that in both cases the Police had arrested someone and put him in jail for a murder which never took place.
The Chinese police, the brother of the victim alleged had forced him to drink chilli water and blasted fire crackers around his head to get him to confess. That should give ideas to the Police in India who have their more ingenious, although cruder methods of forcing confessions from their victims. After hearing real-time stories from topmost female lawyers from the United States recently on how the police even in the United States behaves towards victims who want to lodge complaints about gender violence it becomes clear that the police everywhere, and in all ages, have a universal time tested language.
They have been using their own style be it in a country that is a champion of Human Rights or a country where democracy has yet to sink in properly. Without appearing like apologizing for their ‘style’ one must admit that they manage to persist with their crude methods because they are always under pressure to get results and do it fast.
Justice delayed is justice denied, they say. So what if sometimes it goes astray or the wrong people are put in jail! It is a dilemma that will always remain a dilemma because the jury is out on the moral or the lack of it.
By Amitabh Srivastava