Police Encounter- Is it Wrong? Is it Important? My Mixed Thoughts
Today a Gangster was killed by the UP Police, and there was a widespread celebration.
There was a similar ‘Celebration of Justice’ when the accused in the Hyderabad Rape Case were shot in the encounter by the Telangana Police.
I am discussing these two cases because these are recent cases and I had a long debate with my friends on the same topic.
A majority of my friends, a majority of people I follow on Social Media supported the act. In fact, lauded the efforts of the Policemen. Some called it a Heroic Step and others hailed the system for finally doing Justice.
In a country where justice is often delayed, any case of Instant Justice is loved by the masses.
But what people often forget is the dictum of Mahatma Gandhi- Pure Means for Pure Ends. Ends do not justify the means. If a gangster takes away the lives of 8 Indian Policemen, he deserves to die. I also agree that the Indian Judicial system is lukewarm, it takes time, sometimes years, and sometimes decades for a case to get solved. But An Encounter is a double-edged sword. In the short term, we might appreciate the move. But in the long run, it does more harm than good.
- It sets the wrong precedent. India is a big country. The state of Law and Order is very different in the interiors of India. Policemen across India monitor such High Profile cases closely. If such a complex case gets solved on a Highway, think about the ripple effect this might have on the minds of Policemen in the small towns, in small villages. And if Encounters happens in such areas, it will not even make the headlines in India.
- ‘Ryan International School Murder Case’. This one case shook the nation. A 7-year-old child was killed in the School bathroom. His throat was slit with a knife, it became a national headline. Finding itself under severe pressure, the Police arrested the School Bus Driver. It was said that the Driver assaulted the kid sexually and killed him later. The driver admitted to the crime and there was a widespread uproar in the country. Weeks later when CBI investigated, it was found that the real culprit was an 11th-grade student from the same school. He allegedly committed the crime, to postpone a Parents Teacher Meeting in the School. Imagine if the poor driver was punished on the spot. Imagine if there was a Celebration of Justice on the encounter of the Driver. Many times, the police are under severe pressure and are compelled to make arrests to show some progress in the case. And in the process, ends up framing the wrong person. Therefore, the idea of Instant Justice can really take the life of an innocent person. Let a hundred guilty be acquitted, but one innocent should not be convicted. This is the guiding principle of the Indian Judiciary System.
- I understand that it’s easier for me to write this blog sitting in my room. If I belonged to the family of the 8 brave Policemen, I would probably have hated somebody writing this Blog. The anger is justified, the gangster had to die. But by following the due process. A friend of mine made an excellent point, “People like you always want the rules to be followed. And you don't like any act where justice is given more Importance than the Rule. But my friend, if all the rules were followed, the crime would not have been committed in the first place.” I had no answer. I still don’t.
- Some people often share the same Whatsapp message after every encounter. Justice Done SIMBA way. But, it could also be Injustice done JOLLY LLB 2 way, we never know. How do we know, whether the officer is Inspector Sangram Bhalerao (Simba) or Inspector Suryaveer Singh (Jolly LLB 2)?
- I was particularly disturbed with the celebration of the Extra Judicial Killing. This gives a sense of false bravado to the officers who executed this task. In fact, in some states, the officer with the highest number of encounters is known as Super Cop. We are proud of the cops, of their bravery, and their supreme sacrifice. But what is wrong must go down in history as wrong. Celebration of an Encounter will glorify the act. And The officers of tomorrow might not be afraid to take up a wrong but glorified task.
I have put my thoughts regarding the issue in this blog. These thoughts are a result of long discussions and debates I have with my friends. In the future, I will keep adding my thoughts in this space.
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