Thursday, October 21, 2010

HUM KHO GAYE HAIN - Law student shares her experience

“HUM KHO GAYE HAIN”, these two kids told me when I found them sitting near Delhi Haat, Netaji Subhash Place, New Delhi around 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct 20, 2010 and asked them, “what are you doing here”.

One of the girls, Aarti was seven years old, whose father is a laborer in a corrugated factory and the other girl, Kunti was six years old whose father is running a kabaadi shop told me that one of their friend asked them to accompany her to her parents shop near Netaji Subhash Place, and then left them. The girls did not know the way back home and told that they resided in Shakurpur I Block.

I decided to take them to the police station, so that the girls could be handed over to the safest custody. There was no point leaving the innocent kids at the mercy of god in that situation. My sister, my friend and I firstly went to the Prashant Vihar Police Station about which we knew. There we met a gentleman and two ladies and after we narrated the entire episode to them and asked them to lodge a report, they said they can not lodge a report as no duty officer is available as they all are on field duty and we should take these kids to other police station, either somewhere near the area where the kids were found or else should take them to Prashant Vihar Police Station at Deepali Chowk.

When we took the kids to Prasant Vihar Police Station at Deepali Chowk, the duty officer said why we had brought the kids there and it would be better if we take them to the Shakurpur Police Station since the kids resided there, so their parents would come searching there only. Another gentleman sitting in the Police Station gave his advice that we should not have helped the kids, as these poor kids may be fooling the people this way for the purpose of making money. What the ideology of these police officials reflected here is, probably because the kids belonged to the poor strata of the society and therefore, they are free to condemn them criminal by birth.

We were shocked to hear their response and nonplussed as to what to do next, we made the duty officer to talk to Advocate Ashok Agarwal which changed the story a bit and after which he asked us to meet the SHO. Another shock awaited us, the SHO though kind in his attitude but questioned us as to why we had brought to them rather then calling a PCR van or reporting to the police station in the Shakurpur area itself. Finally, when he asked his official to call Juvenile Officers, he was told that both of them were on leave. Thereafter, he asked S.I. Narender to take the charge of the kids and instructed him to take our statements and then take the kids and locate their house and if their home is not found, then report the matter in Shakarpur Police Station.

S.I. Narender asked us that it would be better if we too accompany him in locating the house of kids because if the house is not located, he will have to report in Shakurpur Police Station and they will not easily trust his statement and these kids will consequently become a “bla” (a big problem) for him if their house is not located. Though we did not accompany him but told him to call us, if we were really required at any stage.

In the evening when we called S.I. Narender to know the status, we were informed that both the kids have been handed over to their parents. Though it was a great relief to me but at the time I was unhappy to find police officials insensitive attitude towards the children of the poor.

Aarushi Agarwal
Social Jurist Volunteer and
Law Student, Delhi University


RituAnand said...

Actually, a lot of scamsters do cook up stories like this and so I can understand the children being wary about the story. However, being the police they need to take every situation as that requiring urgent attention, especially when it deals with the most vulnerable of human beings - children. It is shameful to know that they took such a lax attitude, and the girls were really lucky to have been found by you and returned to their homes.

Anonymous said...

In fact we all should feel our responsibility towards society and should help others whether its a case like this or an accident.
Generally people dont help to avoid the police hassel. But, it can be happened with everybody and we all may need help in future.