Thursday, January 10, 2008

Police Brutality In India

This news might not come as a shock or even sound very interesting to many people. In Ludhiana, India, two thieves snatched the purse of Ruby Dhalla, a member of Parliament from Canada who was visiting the area. Police chased the thieves down, and brutally beat the thieves, before taking them to a detention facility. Assault is not an uncommon practice for dealing with minor criminals on the spot... In fact, sometimes bystanders also participate in assaulting criminals!
The surprising part about this story? The thieves were nine and five years old!
The brother and sister, Sachin and Bindia, reportedly begged police for mercy as they were being beaten.
This video, though somewhat hard to understand at times, showes some disturbing images of the children after the assault.
India does have laws about how children who commit crimes should be treated, and these laws definitely prohibit the use of violence against children. The children should have been simply taken into custody, and would have gone before a magistrate, who would have decided whether to send the children to a juvenile home or release them. The incident against the children is now being investigated, but none of the police officers involved have been suspended so far.
Ruby Dhalla didn't see the police beating the children, but when she heard about it, she commented that she did not endorse any type of violence against children. She also noted that she couldn't control what the police did, and, "I hope those young kids learned from this incident."
One thing we can do to make s difference in this case is contact Ruby Dhalla and urge her to follow up on this incident and insist that the police involved face consequences. As a person of status, she may have a little more pull in this situation. You can write to her at:
PARLIAMENT HILL OFFICE
218 West Block
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

or email her at dhallr@parl.gc.ca

You could also email the Punjab State Human Rights Commission, at pshrc_chd@yahoo.com, to let them know your feelings about this. The Commission is currently investigating the story.

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