Hiring a Forensic expert to mislead criminal investigation?

The CBI on Sunday took over the investigation into the alleged gang rape and assault that led to the death of a 19-year-old woman in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh. The accused has complained to police that it was a case of honour killing by the mother and brother of the deceased. When politicians selectively choose to exploit crime for political brownie point, truth can be anything.

Missing relative

The police had for past week searching a missing relative who was staying with the family from 16th September. (The incident happened on 14th September) The search led it to Medical College, Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh and it turned out that missing relative is now ‘naxal bhabhi’ trending on social media and she is a forensic professional.

Madhya Pradesh’s Subhash Chandra Bose Medical College has initiated an enquiry into the conduct of Dr Rajkumari Bansal, a forensic specialist from the institute who according to some media outlets was living with the victim’s family “posing as a relative”. The reports alleged she had links with Naxalism. The college said she “went on leave without information”.

Conflict of interest:

Presence of any forensic expert not sponsored or permitted by investigation agency is a serious lapse in investigation. It is also a serious attempt to sabotage the investigation. This may be the first but if this is not dealt seriously it may soon may become norm with criminal calling for forensic help to wipe clean the crime scene.

Apart from that, this social media is a buzz with pictures of this forensic expert with politicians who only play identity politics. If that be true, it may be part of a big play being planned by those people. They must also be investigated and their call records checked to see who gave instructions to the Bansal to reach Hathras.

Meanwhile several police teams from Mathura have been dispatched to Malappuram district in Kerala and elsewhere to investigate the journalist and three others booked under the anti-terror law UAPA and charged with sedition for allegedly conspiring to cause caste riots in the state. The four accused — Siddiqui Kappan, a journalist with a Malayalam-language news site in Delhi, Atikur Rahman of Muzaffarnagar, Masood Ahmad from Bahraich and Aalam from Rampur — were detained on October 5 while on their way to Hathras.

From Kerala to Madhya Pradesh to Uttar Pradesh, the network of riot mongers is very vast. It needs to be broken down, like yesterday.

Angry agitators protesting against Police but why?

Winter has finally arrived with all its baggage. Fog keeps Sun camouflaged for most of the morning when clouds do not takeover from it. Temperature fell to make shivering a reality. Hourly interaction with Kahwah (Kashmir tea) is a necessity. The holiday season is full of lethargy. But not for everyone.

The Protesters

മലയാളം: ഡെൽഹിയിൽ സ്ഥിതി ചെയ്യുന്ന ഇന്ത്യാഗേറ്റ...

India Gate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thousands of young boys and girls are out there at India Gate & Raisina Hill (President House) protesting for being in an unsafe city for women and demanding improvement of law and order. Perhaps they should have also asked for a proper forensic investigation and speedy justice. Even though the protesters do not say in words they mean everything. While these common commuters suffer everyday at the hands of pick-pocket, thugs, rogue Auto-rickshaw & bus staff, police is busy extracting weekly allowance from squatters and providing protection to VIPs (read Politicians). 70% of Police force in Delhi is deployed to ensure safe life for Politicians. A part of the job of police is to hold traffic for smooth passage of VIPs while commuters like protesters try to find new excuses for their bosses for being late. In Delhi less than a hundred thousand Politicians are protected by 70% force and more than ten million by remaining 30%. The total force deployed is about seventy thousand. When it comes to traffic law enforcement, motorbike riders are subjected to daily humiliation, sometime several times a day, on the pretext of checking their papers. The profile of protesters is nothing but everyday victim of police itself. The protest is volcano of simmering dissent which is trying to find a way out.

Accountability of Police:

Delhi has a unique disability. The law and order is not under the control of elected Government. Against all Principles of democracy armed police force is not answerable to elected body. It is answerable to Union Home Minister.
It would be a high time that a debate may ensue that why the political institutions like Parliament be shifted to safe zone at new distant city where they may be kept protected like newborn are kept in incubators. But that is not the end of problems. When these fearful representatives of people return to the very people they claim to represent, they need more protection. The disparity of police availability for common man continues there as well. Thus what is the Problem of Delhi is actually a problem of every city of India.

Problem

Policement not wearing helmet.

Two policemen riding motorbike without wearing mandatory helmet.

Whatever may be the cause of protest, it does not hide the fact that except for the matters upon which glare of media  is focused upon, Policing and crime investigation is last priority of police. The first priority as stated above is protection of those near the center of power. Corruption, poor qualifications, authoritarians, lack of communication, disrespect for law (see picture on the left) and arbitrariness are other problems.

Solution

No difficulty in suggesting the solution but it will not be implemented.
First: Create a new educated force of Investigators with experts in criminology and forensics. Entrust them with crime investigation. It can be started with city to city basis. (Something like CSI)
Second: Keep existing force and structure for enforcement of law only. If they encounter crime scene, they should immediately call the Investigators.
Third: Reduce work hours of police. Presently they have to work 12-18 hrs everyday. Most of them do not go home except in a month or fortnight. They live in police stations or in tents inside police stations. We can not expect compassion from some one living in such horrible conditions.
Fourth: Trials of all cases must be on day to day basis, as is the mandate of law, under Criminal Procedure Code. It must be adhered scrupulously.

Epilogue

None of above shall be implemented. If done, it will change everything. No body wants drastic changes. The entire edifice of power which relies heavily on muscle power, will collapse. We may wish what we want but we can only protest, without hope.

© Sandeep Bhalla

Domestic helps left out of sexual harassment Bill

Is poor crime investigation and possibility of abuse of legislation is the reason?

The government has excluded domestic helps — among the sections most vulnerable to sexual harassment — from the purview of the Bill that the Union Cabinet cleared here on Thursday for protection of women against sexual harassment at workplace.
The Bill, which is likely to be tabled in the winter session of Parliament, mandates that women subjected to sexual advances — verbal or physical — are within their right to complain against her colleague. A person found guilty of sexual harassment is likely to face financial penalties besides loss of employment and, in case of a graver offence — a police complaint.
In order to address complaints related to sexual harassment, the Bill envisages formation of committees in each organisation, which has more than 10 workers or a local committee at the level of district or sub-district if it is an organisation with less than 10 people.
Officials argued that domestic workers were left out in view of the administrative difficulty in proving sexual harassment due to lack of witnesses and the effectiveness of the local committee in the home of accused. (Source: Domestic helps left out of sexual harassment Bill – The Times of India.)

Legislative classification always seem stupid/illogical but rarely courts interfere on class legislation. The preference to less vulnerable section over more vulnerable section may be illogical but if we take the view of the fact that a large number of such legislations are abused by women to settle other scores, it may be understandable. But solution to that is raise quality of crime investigation. At present quacks investigate the crime and draw arbitrary conclusions.