Police II

On Wednesday morning, in Howrah, a newborn died of hunger and cold in a police station as the cops ignored the baby and continued the interrogation of the mother, who had been picked up the previous evening for bearing a child out of wedlock.

The 21 year old mother, Soma Giri, is mentally challenged. Her mother who accompanied the four year old girl and Soma to the police station said, 'The baby needed to be nursed. As the temperature dipped, she shivered violently. There were no warm clothes. We promised to return in the morning but the police just wouldn't listen. Sometime close to dawn, the baby slipped into a deep sleep. It was only later that we realised it was death.'

Reading these lines over and over makes my skin crawl. There's a lump in my throat as I imagine the poor baby and her mother. The inhumanity of the situation! What kind of heinous, disgusting excuses for men would let something like this happen? The sheer helplessness of someone in a situation like this is just so pitiful. I can just see myself in her shoes. There is just nothing you can do against authority like that. Nothing as a lone individual. Society as a whole must do something about this. But it's so easy to pass on the responsibility to other people. I wonder what I would do; what I should do. I don't think I have the guts to face up to someone like that. Though, maybe, the utter desperation of the situation may push me enough to take some action.

I wouldn’t condemn public lynching of these men ( if you can call the monsters that). I know it's a blanket punishment. I know it's a step back to the dark ages. I know that taking the law into our own hands doesn't help anything. I know that these people probably have families that need them and love them. But as I read the paragraphs again, all I comprehend is that thanks to them, an innocent child died. Her mother is in anguish. Yes, I'd probably condone the lynching.

( Based on the article "Newborn dies as cops grill mother" by Saibal Gupta from the Times of India, New Delhi edition, dated 1st December 2006 )

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