What do Tamil newspapers have to say about the 'safe haven' that is Chennai?
What the papers, with the exception of Tamil The Hindu, miss reporting on is that the law and order problem in Chennai is of utmost importance: especially in a city that is routinely considered to be safe.
Five murders took place within a month in the seemingly safe city of Chennai, reported The Hindu.
On 5 June, an advocate named Murugan was hacked to death at Kodambakkam; on 7 June, it was J Parasmal, an RTI activist, who was killed by a gang in Periamet; on 16 June, Akhilan, a lawyer, was murdered in Puzhal; on 22 June, Vyasarpadi resident T Ravi was murdered by eight men and on 24 June, S Swathi, an Infosys employee was hacked to death at Nungambakkam railway station, The Hindu report added.
With the Chennai police yet to make an arrest in the case of Swathi, various politicians have come out to voice their opinions on the incident.
DMK Treasurer MK Stalin, who visited Swathi's family, said that the murder shocked him and that "those in the government should completely involve themselves to stop these incidents of crime".
To Tamil daily Dinamalar, Stalin, concerned about the growing number of murders in the city, dubbed Chennai as the 'Murder Capital' in response to Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who called Chennai a 'Silent Garden'. He also asked if women were really safe in Jayalalithaa's government, and that after AIADMK came to power, there has been an increase in the number of murders.
Tamil The Hindu, in an editorial, titled 'Law and order problem is an issue of people's lives', details the number of deaths that have taken place within a month: In 20 days, four lawyers have been killed. In other parts of Tamil Nadu, more than 20 people have been killed in two months. It adds cautiously — that the number of people killing for money (or hitmen) are easily operating without fear.
A point to note in Tamil The Hindu's editorial is that how the reasons for murder have changed with time. Usually, murders were a result of heated exchanges or as accidents. But in the last 10 years, according to the Madurai High Court, citing the case of a political activist who was killed by a Mercedes, murder, robbery and kidnappings are seeing the increased involvement of hitmen, the editorial added.
A Daily Thanthi report on a rowdy's death in Saidapet says that the growing spate of murders in Chennai has its residents in shock and fear who want the guilty to be punished without any delay. Another report cites the Railway Protection Force holding awareness campaigns among rail commuters: that people shouldn't go too near the tracks, if a man enters the women's compartment, the police should be alerted, and 182 is the number to dial in case of emergencies.
What the papers, with the exception of Tamil The Hindu, miss reporting on is that the law and order problem in Chennai is of utmost importance: especially in a city that is routinely considered to be safe. But what all the papers miss out is that bystanders are just that — they don't intervene and help. Public apathy is equally responsible for the crime as much as the crime itself.
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