Millennium Post

Question of credibility

When it comes to nabbing culprits, our faith in police ought to be sacrosanct. Police have been the sentinel of law and order since time immemorial. The unbreakable trust we place on them is in itself a huge weight to carry, yet it is carried out diligently by brave police officers proactively doing their jobs to maintain law and order. The horrific violence that took place at the Jawahar Lal Nehru University on January 5 was a very shameful moment for India. One of the premier universities of India was attacked by masked goons. More than two dozens were injured including teachers and students. While a supposedly secured educational institution being attacked by a masked mob in the national capital was deplorable, reports of police merely standing as near as 50 yards of the campus gate was unpleasant to extreme ends. Delhi Police not taking immediate cognisance of the situation as corroborated by several eyewitnesses does not digest. Delhi Police has been prolific in solving cases such as the 2008 Delhi serial blasts case which was solved in an impressive six days. While hailing them for their duty is part of our right to express, so is pouring criticism. Delhi Police's silence on the evening of attacks was unpleasant. If anything, it only made them appear complicit to the dreadful deed. The investigation that the Delhi Police's crime branch has been carrying out in the JNU violence case has also attracted criticism. Their press conference revealing an initial list of suspects and images to corroborate their list appeared strikingly similar to the pictures floated by the right-wing supporters on social media following the mob attack. Further, India Today's independent investigation into the incident led to serious revelations of ABVP involvement — something the Delhi Police appeared to miss in entirety. The revelation made by India Today's sting operation did not appear to fit Delhi Police's prima facie investigation update. Even a fact-finding committee by Congress pinned the blame on the University's Vice-Chancellor, demanding his removal as well as a criminal investigation on him. While ABVP and even VC were labelled as suspects to the horrific incident, the Delhi Police's investigation update primarily listed left-wing students as suspects. Police's investigation cannot rule out possible suspects, ignoring the videotape released by India Today. For Delhi Police to remove such criticism of bias, it ought to come clean and crack the case in twice the speed. Such criticism lowers the credibility of the police and that is not exactly what society needs. Society needs its police to be an embodiment of the tenets of justice. An unbiased investigation is where the Delhi Police can silence all its critics and proceed to unmask the perpetrators of the condemnable incident.

While polarising debates will spread based on footages and pictures flooded on social media, it is the police who ought to go to the root of the incident. There will be two versions based on two conflicting parties but who does the public store its faith upon? The very reason an investigation rests in the police's hand is that otherwise, justice will always remain disputed. Delhi Police must perform the task with sincerity, including all possible suspects and laying out evidence to connect dots. Evidence can be fabricated, pictures can be doctored and culprits can not be proven guilty — all depends on the quality of the investigation that the police undertakes. While Delhi Police may not have arrived at crucial points of this case, their task is to keep looking till they can garner evidence enough to brand the culprits. It not only has to uncover the peculiarities of the masked attack but also clear its own name for connivance as alleged by Congress. With credibility on the line, there is an outright incentive to unearth the truth and bring the masked perpetrators to justice. Delhi Police is investigating an event that has shocked the country and their investigation will set a precedent. Universities cannot be attacked as conveniently as the JNU episode and apprehensions of an inside-job remain out there to be debunked. And, while uncovering the entire ploy may take time, expediting the investigation will greatly serve the tense atmosphere which has made students manifest insecurity. The Delhi Police must solve the riddle of how campus security failed to detect miscreants and how the police itself could not reach on-site to take cognisance of the violence — these two questions pertain to the lapses in the system. If it is that easy to spark violence in secured campuses of education, we must ask ourselves what society we are living in.

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