Makers of crime shows CID and Crime Patrol have reacted strongly to police claims that the recent kidnapping and murder of a Pune teenager by his friends was inspired by these shows. Relating the incident, in which three teenagers abducted their schoolmate, strangled him to death and collected Rs 15,000 ransom from his father last week, inspector Motichand Rathod had said, “All three confessed that they wanted to have fun, but easy money could only come from crime. Among the television serials they regularly watched were CID and Crime Patrol.”
“The cops are blowing it up. There must have been some mistake because we don’t teach youngsters how to commit murder. We stress on the mystery and how it is solved. Rather, Crime Patrol gives a detailed description of the crime. We cater to a family audience and don’t air content that would affect sensitive minds. In fact, Saas Bahu serials show more violence than we do,” says BP Singh, producer, CID. Anup Soni, who hosts Crime Patrol, says,
“The purpose of the show is to tell people not to commit crime as it will have serious consequences.”
Cops are however, firm in their belief. “Criminals often take a cue from crime shows. Juveniles on being interrogated, confess that the idea came from a crime show. For instance, in a recent double murder case in Ranjit Nagar, where a teenager killed his cousins, he revealed that the knowledge of muffling a gun shot by using a pillow came from TV serials,” says Devesh Chandra Shrivastava, additional commissioner, Delhi Police.
Some agree that content needs to be regulated. “We give out the message that no criminal can evade justice. However, I still feel channels should censor what they deem unfit,” says, Shivaji Satam, who plays ACP Pradyuman in CID. Agrees filmmaker Suhaib Ilyasi, who produced crime show India’s Most Wanted.
“Youngsters are impacted by such shows, so it is necessary to send a strong message that you will be severely punished if you commit a crime.” “These crime series show that the criminals get caught by police but they don’t show what happens after that. In a way, it’s a glorification of crime,” says psychiatrist Jitendra Nagpal.
February 2012: A 12-year-old Delhi boy, Suhail, died trying to imitate a suicide scene in a movie
December 2011: A young man abducted three children in Panchkula and confessed to cops that he was inspired by crime documentaries on TV
December 2011: Barnali Thakurta, a class five student in Kolkata, choked to death trying to imitate a scene shown in a
Shaktiman Syndrome: In the 90s, many children injured themselves, and one died while trying to imitate TV superhero Shaktiman.
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