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27 May 2008

Murder in Mumbai, Death in Delhi

The city and the nation were recently rocked by two very gruesome murders. One, the Arushi Talwar case in the capital, and the other the murder of Neeraj Grover in Mumbai.

While the parents are the prime suspects in the first case, the other one is an instance of two young ambitious people, a navy officer and an aspiring starlet, all of 25-27 years of age who jointly hacked the body of the victim into 300 pieces in the bathroom of their flat before disposing it by burning it at a location in the middle of a forest.

While the TV and related panel discussions have been flashing the talwar case, the murder of Neeraj Grover received little or no attention in the national media and in fact even the murderer, Mathew was in a local paper after many days.

Seeing the two I am once again reminded how far superior is the Mumbai Police Crime branch and their handling of the cases in this instance. Maybe in others too, but this one is starkly clear. In less than a week, i.e in 6 days they cracked the missing person report as murder, tracked the location of the place where the body was disposed, arrested both the people, got confessions, booked them and provided protection to the witness, a watchman of the building who was on duty.

I am proud of the Mumbai police who against all odds fight to keep this city (relatively) safe just as I am very distressed at the whole manner the Arushi case has/is evolving-two things that stand out starkly is how evidence has been disposed or disappeared, delays, lack of procedures and strange stuff ( like what is it with dental association announcing 'support'?

The Arushi case to me is poignant because, while many of us now are sensitive to children's issues-runaways, vagrant, poor kids get attention, the status of the middle/upper middle class child in a country that has no laws to protect them is very vulnerable- often neglected.

Isolated and lonely with no-one to turn to-not even a helpline- child abuse,violence or sexual in addition to lack of family support, they bear the brunt of loneliness, emotional blackmail, pressures of study, social restrictions and future prospects that weigh them down. Expensive gifts of mobile phones, gaming, mall visits, holidays only hide these deeper issues.


@chetthaker said...

It's not often you hear a native of India proclaim their proudness of their police force but from your description it sounds like they really deserve this credit with the way they have handled the murder case.

I loosely follow the news events in India through NDTV and what I have been pleased to see that we're starting to see people getting justice against the well-connected. Where once bribary and corruption may have thwarted and frustrated bringing these people to justice the might of the media attention and the will of the people is having a positive effect. The Jessica Lal murder case and very recently the conviction of the politician's son can only be a good thing for the ordinary folk of India and a strong message to the corrupt that money and power cannot always win.

Deepa said...

Even in the few cases mentioned in your comment is too little, too late. For every one jessica lal, there is Nithari, Prof. Sabaharwal and just common citizen. Justice system, I'd not celebrate too soon. There is a long long road to travel.

Citizen journalism represents a maturity of society. It cannot hope to replace or step in for deep systemic changes needed in areas such as transparency,accountablity, technology,legal framework etc.

Also the topic of rights of a child - it is not seen as an issue still!

Thank you for your visit and comment. Every perspective helps.

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