Have we settled for the bus conductor as the killer for seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur at New Delhi's Ryan International School? Yes, we have. It was so delightfully convenient. All wrapped up in newsprint and served hot. Now, we can all go home. Those who said, wait a minute, it isn’t cut and dried, were sidelined and silenced.
The very fact that there was doubt about the perpetrator should have allowed the case to remain open. Last heard, the possibly railroaded Ashok Kumar, who was in spotless clothes when he carried the injured child to the car, has backed off his statement. His retraction according to India TV is predicated to his having been forced into a confession.
He said he was beaten up, tortured and generally given the old heave ho ‘treatment’ till he gave in. Nothing new there because that is the usual modus operandi and it covers up the mess that is made of a crime scene and the inability of the police to handle the necessary forensics seeing as how the scene is wildly contaminated.
That itself is cause for reasonable doubt and one is now afraid that the truth will be obfuscated and nobody will know who did it. The trail is icy cold now and if there are other personae involved they would, by now, have created a massive distance between themselves and the act.
When are we going to update our criminal investigation procedures. They are almost backward and crime continues unabated. Even the ten-year-old girl who was denied permission by the Supreme Court for an abortion after a rape now stands as a botched case. The supposed uncle who was accused of this heinous assault is now proven not to be the father of the baby who lived exactly two days.
Besides the huge trauma to the child and the immediate family, the tattered reputation of the uncle must also be considered. Whether he was falsely indicted or is one of multiple rapists we will never know.
Just as we will never know where the other beasts are and they will now be encouraged to prey again. If there wasn’t this unholy haste to reach a conclusion and announce the uncle as the offender there would not be one rapist flying around as free as a lark. How many people were hurting this child? And on what grounds was the uncle seen as the only suspect? There are today tests that can determine through swabbing the fetus who the daddy is as early as twelve weeks.
If we do not have this facility (known as a Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Test. It analyses cell-free fetal DNA in the mother’s blood to figure out the father’s identity) at least wait till the birth before closing the case and marking it a success.
The third example of messing up things and underscoring a certain incompetence is the lackluster search for Honeypreet Insan, adopted daughter of the incarcerated Gurmeet Ram Rahim. Having totally smeared egg on its face by not catching her when she was bossing them around, they are now running around without a clue about her whereabouts.
The odds that she is not going be caught are pretty good because it is inconceivable that a woman of her visual profile at the time she vanished could hide for so long without a proper network helping her. Somebody up there loves her. And it is not the disciples because they seem to have filtered off and no one likes to hang in there on a sinking ship.
That said, India has too many people and someone would see. If the police had properly activated their snitches and their sleaziest informants they would have found her by now.
Three sterling examples of ineptitude. When are we going to rise from the level of rounding up people and beating them into submission.
Your guide to the latest election news, analysis, commentary, live updates and schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on firstpost.com/elections. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates from all 543 constituencies for the upcoming general elections.
Updated Date: Sep 20, 2017 14:45:45 IST