Thursday, January 18, 2018
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satellite phone
If satellite phones are there, can terrorists be far behind?

Following the report about the presence of satellite phones in the Mela area, the administration has suddenly become alert and has now started taking additional precautions including the hounding of beggars.  Police media incharge, Sunil Dutt Dubey reveals that 17 beggars have been rounded up and  the magistrate has ordered them to be sent to the Beggars’ Home in Shivkuti.
When begging is an offence under the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act 1959 (presumably in vogue in UP too), why is it that beggars were allowed in the Mela?

On several occasions I have warned that strict eye should be kept on beggars because the security officials hardly take any notice of them. They don’t even look at them. I recalled a scene from film ‘Kismat’ made in 1942-43 in which Ashok Kumar, a pickpocket was shown being hunted by the police. He suddenly spots  the Inspector coming in his direction. He immediately  covers himself with a blanket , stretches out his hands, and starts saying, ‘Malik...’ The Inspector does not even look at him, keeps on puffing away the smoke from his cigar, drops a coin in the beggar’s hands and  that was all. I had mentioned only some weeks ago that this could happen in the mela too. How can we be sure that thieves, pickpockets and other criminals if not terrorists have not entered the place in the guise of beggars and are indulging in  thefts , breaking car windowpanes and running away with bags of money, untraceable. If the bags have been lifted by beggars, they must have  immediately hidden them in their ‘jholas’, who will notice that?  It is also possible that those lifting bags and stealing things could be handing over the valuables to some of their trusted beggars.And if a new beggar joins the others, how will the local beggars know whether he is one of them?  The new-comer may say that he is a beggar from some other city.  The regular beggars won’t complain against him for fear of being caught in some wrong act themselves! I have tried to explain to you all the possibilities, all the tricks that beggars could play. In addition, I have also been warning the police to keep an eye on the workmen busy with various mela-connected works. Some suspicious characters might have entered the mela area in the guise of electricians who are much in demand whenever there is even a minor fault disrupting the supply to different camps. Who will suspect an electrician, a mason or even a sweeper unless they  are seen  suspiciously gossiping away.

Don’t ignore beggars, rickshaw-pullers in the city

I may also  sound a note of warning against  the presence of hordes of beggars in and around railway stations, near temples and almost all public places. They can be seen stretching their arms for extracting something from the gullible. How do we know that one of the beggars is not a  thief or a crook?  And have we bothered to take a peep into the jhuggies  which have sprung up in different places, even behind the Nagar Nigam office or under the pillars of the Khusraubagh flyover? Some of them appear to be suspicious characters. But the police does not seem to be bothered about them at all. I may mention that some of these beggars living in jhuggies have also become centres of flesh trade. Youngsters  in cars can be seen loitering around such spots. I am not naming these notorious spots so that some fickle-minded youths, desirous of having fun, may not also start prowling in the area and get trapped in the quagmire of  AIDS-infested sex.
There is also urgent need for verifying the antecedents of rickshaw-pullers. The police just ignores them these days  unlike in the past when they would force free rides from them too, something that they now extort from the tempos. Most of these rickshaw pullers say that they are migrants from Madhya Pradesh or Bihar. If you ask them for their credentials, they try to wriggle out by cooking up some plausible story. But some of them carry mobile phones which are presumably misused by them to inform some accomplice that their customer is a wealthy person and that they should organize a roadside holdup at a spot where the road-lights are off so that it may  not be easy to recognise them. 
I may also mention that because of huge rush expected, many outsiders have entered the city to work as cooks, waiters, mates. Who will ever suspect them of being militants in disguise?
And about beggars in disguise, I may repeat once again what I saw some decades ago. A leper, who was frantically banging his arms right and left, pretending that he was undergoing acute pain so as to evoke sympathy of passersby, suddenly found himself caught in a heavy downpour. The street was empty in no time. I was walking this beggar from a distance when suddenly he got up all of a sudden, looked around, and finding none, he wiped off all the paint with which he had smeared his face and had covered his eye to look blind. And lo and behold! He suddenly turned into a smart young man, keeping his beggar’s attire in a jhola and dressing himself in jeans and bush-shirt. That was several decades ago

And what about  tempo drivers?


Since the days of Uday Shankar Jaiswal, former Traffic SP, we have been fed on the myth that it will be compulsory for drivers  and their mates to wear uniforms with their names inscribed on a badge that was to be stitched to the uniform. Details were to be printed on the body of the tempos too. And there were several other rules which were supposed to be enforced two years ago.. But nothing has happened. We were told that by Mahakumbh, the drivers would be ready with their uniforms. But I have not seen any tempo driver wearing a uniform. Why? Is it because they are still giving free rides to cops who therefore do not apprehend them . They can still be seen playing cheap songs on the loudspeakers fitted in the van.
This is what Justice J.S.Verma has described as "failure of governance". Yes, there appears to be total failure of ideal governance. What we see is an administration which is working on a combination of promises and compromises. No wonder tempos play havoc with norms and rules, drive recklessly , stuff more customers than they should in their vehicle and, on finding a girl alone, they  carry out their nefarious design. How can women be safe? How can our society be safe if those who are supposed to protect it  succumb to the temptation of enjoying free rides, having free snacks at the illegal ‘dhabas’ and then overlooking all their faults? The police  indulge in a mass checking drive only when ordered from above. And that order comes when there is pandemonium all around. The cops around do not help the law but go to the rescue of  law-breakers, taking the side of criminals, No wonder Justice J.S.Verma has called for reforms in the police setup. Reforms too have been formulated with solid suggestions. Former DGP Prakash Singh played a major role in pursuing the goal of reforms. Will the Government now act fast? Or will tall talk continue to fool the people?





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