Home » Of faith and failed justice

Of faith and failed justice

by Jeet Akoijam
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For now, the brief and promising flirt with ‘unprecedented development’ which was used with much hype and success during the last election and the subsequent emergence of the BJP as a power in the state stands truly over. The internal strife within the coalition ruling party diverting precious time and effort which should have been utilized in improving the governance of the state bears testimony to the fact that the elected representatives of the people of the state has more important and different pursuits than the aspirations of the common man. The mushrooming number of Civil Society Organisations, public groups, clubs and joint Action Committees is the most accurate indication of a system gone dysfunctional to the point that these associations and organizations are felt necessary to try and patch the ever increasing cracks in social administrations and public management.
The recent unfortunate death or rather murder of a young student inside the school hostel of Standard Robarth is not a one-off incident nor is it totally unexpected. It is a result of the defunct implementing agencies of the state government failing to take up timely and adequate measures in earnest. It may be recalled that in May of 2014, 26 students who were residents of the school hostel fled the hostel who revealed atrocious acts by the school authorities such as brutal physical beatings, mental harassment and public humiliations for insignificant faults of the students on a regular basis. A press conference was even held regarding the incident at the AMSU office. Unfortunately and tragically, none of the stakeholders in the lives of the students including the parents and state authorities took serious note of the situation and the result is for all to see right now. How many more deaths and murders would it take for the state administration to look into such reports and more importantly, place guidelines and implement measures to ensure no such heartbreaking incidents ever happen again by finding the culprit/s and setting an unforgettable example of swift and tough justice.
Another aspect of the state administration that has proven to be an abject failure in light of the unfolding incident is that of the state police and its investigative credentials. The demand by the Joint Action Committee formed on the death of Babysana along with various other supporting civil society organizations to hand over the investigation into the death to the CBI and not the state investigative agencies speaks of the massive trust deficit of the people towards the police and its activities. They are viewed not as protectors of the common man but rather as a symbol of control and intimidation by the government and if this mindset is to be changed or if the state government has the slightest concern to address the declining situation, a long and sustained effort on the part of the state police department and the state government in general needs to be put in. It would not only be impractical but also humiliating for the state services if each and every criminal case is to be referred to the CBI.
In order for criminals and potential wrongdoers to take notice of the strict laws and swift actions which will deter them to a great extent, the investigators needs to be well trained and diligent, not to mention the necessity for maintaining a high degree of personal and professional integrity which has been in question till now. Unsolved crimes, unsuccessful prosecutions, unpunished offenders and wrongful convictions have brought the criminal justice system to disrepute and these loopholes needs to be addressed and rectified at the earliest before the whole system is taken over by the increasingly frustrated and impatient public- an alternative and a distinct possibility far worse than anything. The onus is on the government. It may very well disregard the warnings at its own peril.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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