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SurferSpeak | India hardly shines for poor

Surfers are shocked at the story of Patna girl and want heads to roll.

india Updated: Jun 27, 2006 14:04 IST

A story of a nine-year-old Patna destitute child who was falsely detained in a nari niketan for nine years has shocked many of our surfers.

A flurry of letters was proof of how strongly people felt on the issue. Most felt ashamed that India hardly shines for so many ordinary Indians.

Here's how it went.

An extremely agitated Ashok Pandya from Hercules in USA had this to say.

"This is a very shocking story of justice being denied to this young girl. As a child she walked onto the Patna railway platform. An ever-zealous policeman arrests her. A magistrate convicts a child -- without apparently providing her with a competent lawyer to defend her.

She is sentenced to prison for a week. Nari niketan does not release her on the expiry of her 'prison term'. She is kept there for seven years more. The union minister should have ordered an inquiry.

Why this unimaginable event ever took place? There seems to be no answer. Why didn't the management of the nari niketan not asked to provide the reasons for this unnecessary imprisonment?

Is anyone answerable for this unthinkable crime? Will someone face a trial and a seven-year prison term for this act of abject negligence? I doubt it."

A disturbed K Nagarajan from Chennai had this to say.

"It is unfortunate that a girl who was loitering in the Patna railway station was fined Rs 350. I do not know under which law one has to pay so much as fine? Can't the judge ask the police to trace her house and send her there?

Our politicians are so much worried about their kith and kin and earning wealth, they are not worried about such atrocious laws.

Former PM Gujral wanted to appoint a committee to study all such redundant laws, rules, regulations, etc but unfortunately before he could do something he had to quit his post.

Why can't the present PM Mr Manmohan Singh take this up? We have eminent lawyers like Ram Jethmalani who have earned the fruits of freedom and can contribute to the society."

V Gairola of Los Angeles, USA was willing to help the unfortunate girl. He was clear that until and unless India learnt to take its less fortunate citizens along, any development would be half-baked.

"Thanks for bringing this unfortunate episode to the knowledge of the general public.

It would also be of benefit to the victim if a contact address/email has been provided so that if people want to contribute in any way for such victims' progress, they might be able to do so.

I hope that as India makes strides in development in various fields, we become more focused on instances like this and simultaneously take steps to make sure to provide justice and opportunity for development of all its residents.

Otherwise the current trend of development will not be equal and be hollow as far as equality for all is concerned."

RK Datta from Nashik, India demanded accountability and fixing of responsibility for the accused.

"Will the judiciary/high court take suo moto notice and fix responsibilities on the officials including railway magistrate and make them pay for her up-keep rest of their life?

Unless we make people pay for the mistakes, this will continue. They should also be penalised for loss of nine years from some one's life."

Ravi Kaushik of Newcastle, Australia was relieved that there were still some ethical people in the Indian system. Here's how he put it.

"Thank God that there are judges in Bihar like Justice Mukhopadhyay and Justice Kabir who are honest, kind and proactive.

Both the judges have courage, humbleness and conscience and heart of gold who out their busy schedule and highest judicial positions in the state carried out an act of kindness for which I pray to God that they lead a happy prosperous and healthy long life."

All views and opinions presented in this article are solely those of the surfers and do not necessarily represent those of