Indore stabbing – Another life lost to police apathy

The apathy of the Indian Police has claimed yet another life – this time in an incident which has stunned the nation.

Deepak Nagpal

The apathy of the Indian Police has claimed yet another life – this time in an incident which has stunned the nation, a man in his early 20s lost his life in Madhya Pradesh`s Indore city on August 21.

His ‘fault’ – he was brought to the police station after bravely fighting off a bunch of eve teasers along with his friends.

Ravi Dangi was with his friend Ankit and a girl known to him when four youth started teasing the female. Passing lewd remarks, the four tried to outrage the modesty of the girl.

Angry at the youth’s behaviour (as anyone would be), Ravi and Ankit took on the eve teasers but were brutally beaten as they were outnumbered. The molesters stabbed Ravi in the process, leaving him profusely bleeding.

Ravi was then taken to the nearby Rajendra Nagar police station in the hope that those entrusted with the responsibility of safeguarding the life of the common man would do their duty and save the brave man.

However, this very move brought curtains on an innocent, promising life who was just fulfilling his duty as a human being.

In what was highly insensitive and shocking, cops present at the police station were totally unconcerned about the victim’s pain, waiting to record Ravi’s statement instead of taking him to a nearby hospital for medical attention.

In fact, one of the cops reportedly scolded Ravi and his family and friends saying, “Yahan apne khoon se ganda mat karo (don’t make this place dirty by spilling your blood).”

Is this how a policeman is expected to behave when victims of crime knock at the doors of police, who have motto like these – with you, for you, always?

According to eye witnesses, Ravi was lying outside the police station under a tree bleeding profusely for over an hour while the cops inside were completing ‘necessary paperwork’, at the same time ensuring the victim’s blood was not spilling over the place! Shocking!

Is paperwork more important than saving a life? Indore cops have much to answer.

"My son would have survived if police had brought him to hospital quickly instead of wasting precious time in formalities," Ravi’s father Suresh Dangi said.

Such police behaviour makes us wonder, if we should at all look up to the police for security? Are they at all reliable?

It is not the first case that has highlighted police indifference.

Only a few months back, a senior citizen had lost his life after being pushed by a police man at the Dhaula Kuan police station when his son went to fetch water after their car had broken down in the dead of night.

There are hundreds of other such cases, most of which are never reported, wherein the people suffer at the hands of police. While it is not to say that all policemen are bad or unconcerned, but we are definitely in urgent need of police reforms wherein the cops need some lessons in how to be people-friendly and sensitive.

In the Indore case, while three of the four youth involved have been arrested and the hunt is on for the remaining one, there has been no action against the ‘guilty’ policemen.

The justification for this is that the policemen on duty did all that they could to save Ravi. As per the police, Ravi’s family and friends are to be blamed for not taking him to the hospital first.

It’s like rubbing salt to the wounds of a victim; what Ravi’s family needs in this hour of crisis are consolation and sympathy and not arguments, apart from bringing the guilty to justice.

Even the state Human Rights Commission has served a notice to the Indore Police, seeking their response within seven days on the incident.

While the state government and IG, Indore, have ordered respective probes into the circumstances of Ravi`s death, the questions on everyone’s mind are - why are policemen still walking free when circumstantial evidence lays bare their role in the entire incident? Why is it taking so long for the police to arrest all the accused in the case? Why hasn’t the Chief Minister of the state not spoken yet on the incident when his Home Minister said that “human life is invaluable and it cannot be allowed to go waste for completing official formalities"?

Till we get answers to these questions, the girls in Madhya Pradesh will probably not be able to walk without fear of eve teasing...