There’s been so many occasions when you, the alert reader, have spotted a baneful nexus between the media and the police. But nothing can top the report (HT Delhi, Page 5) that announced the Delhi Police having cracked a case involving two students in the heart of the national capital. While you would have been more relieved if the men in khaki had busted a terrorist ring or uncovered a drug cartel, alas, readers can’t be choosers. So there you were gaping at a report about Delhi Police announcing that the substance the two students were smoking was — drum roll — tobacco!
Forensic science has come a long way since some of our older readers were caught smoking cigarettes by less imposing authority figures than the police. If the school authorities were unable to distinguish between the residues of a member of the nicotiana species and those of the cannabis species, one can only praise such adult innocence. It is fortunate that the two erring students did not have to arrive at a situation where, like Bill Clinton, they would have had to state without blinking and without dilated pupils, “I did not inhale.”
For the citizens of Delhi, however, the fact that the Class X boys were nabbed by their teacher and then investigated by the Crime Branch points to the reassuring trend that this may be the future of Delhi crime to come. You, alert reader, will be told of police efficiency when you read the Page 1 headline: ‘He was watching TV after bedtime: Police’.