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Q: What can be done to tackle the rising crime in the country? 
This is the fourth instalment of readersí response

Forensic science holds the clue

Despite improved correctional methods, criminal procedure and law, crime continues to be a challenge. Police-public cooperation is, thus, vital. The powers of the police, especially those relating to arrest and interrogation, need to be increased. There is a need to develop expertise in the field of forensic science, which can be used in investigation and detection of crimes. The police headquarters of all states need to be put on a central computer network for collecting and analysing statistics and data that play an important role in the detection of crime. Trials should be quick. Britain has introduced hostel services for the released prisoners to provide them with shelter and protection. India should also adopt the same system to reduce the rate of crime.

MANISHA GARG,
On e-mail

II

Relying on just the oral evidence to prove the guilt is an archaic method and scientific investigation is a much better option. Forensic evidence seldom lies.

Crime is for either or all of these things: money, land and woman. Poverty, unemployment, disturbed childhood, moral weakness, mental disturbance, physical ailments and failure of the penal system are responsible for the increase in crime. Delayed action by the agencies responsible for recording and investigating crime does not help our cause.

In this fight against crime, we should target the individual, and in most cases, itís a combined dose of solutions that will work. There is no organisation that can conduct large-scale publicity campaigns aimed at checking crime; the police should have a functional public relations department. We have, instead, a nexus between criminals and musclemen, tainted politicians and bureaucrats, and all of them and the police. We prolong trials like doctors stretch treatment for petty monetary gains.

SADHU SINGH MANGAT,
Ludhiana

Protect witnesses

The police should overhaul the way it functions. It can start by recruiting persons of integrity and intelligence. Witnesses should be provided with adequate security and even cash inducements may be offered.

Enacting stringent laws can stop political interference in the working of police and other law-enforcing agencies. Policemen should be thrown out of the force even if there is a shred of evidence that they have been partners in crimes. For this, special courts should be set up and summary trials should be introduced.

Rape and murder should be punished with death in all cases, and not just in the rarest of the rare cases.

The principle that the benefit of doubt should go to the accused should be amended and no offender should go scot-free. Legal technicalities in the investigation, prosecution and trial should be curtailed. The public should suo motu cooperate with the police.

GEETANJALI KORPAL,
Amritsar

Save children from turning delinquent

Biological and social factors are responsible for leading someone to indulge in crime. Congenital causes like negligent delivery are sometimes responsible for the mental defects that make a child prone to being delinquent later. Social factors are many. Parents should give children proper love and affection.

Too much pampering and too much indifference are equally bad for kids. Prepare the children to cut their coats according to the cloth. Let no child breed lofty and unrealistic desires. Statistics show that most criminals are from broken families, so the importance of family values and psychological counselling for children should not be ignored.

Freud says that every person has the hidden instinct to do bad things (this is part of his concept of id, ego and superego). One should learn to walk the tightrope of ego, and psychologists, teachers, parents and society should help children in this.

HARSUKH MANJEET,
Jagraon

Find jobs for the youth

If we consider crime to be a reaction, probably unemployment will be its biggest catalyst. With no outlet to release their depression, young minds channel their creative energies towards crime. Brigands and robbers are mostly young men; rarely would you find an old man among the dacoits. Anti-social activities offer an easy opportunity to the indisciplined youth to wrest what they donít deserve. Image earners are more susceptible to physical tension, suicide and crime, because of the lack of work opportunities for them.

Unemployment is a favourite election plank of all political parties, but no one has yet found a satisfactory solution to the problem. The reason is that employment schemes are not backed up with adequate resources.

RAVINDER PAL SINGH BINDRA,
Ludhiana

Raise social awareness

Police alone cannot check crime without any support from the public. For raising awareness against crime, the administration requires more personal contact programmes. To check social evils that lead to theft, murder and immoral trafficking, the police and the administration need the help and cooperation of the public at all times.

S. K. MITTAL,
Talwara

Strengthen the judiciary

The graph of crime in India is going up by every passing day and we have seen that because of lengthy procedures in the court of law, it takes not months, but even decades to finalise the punishment of perpetrators of every sort of crime. The best and the only way to tackle this is to strengthen the judiciary, by making processing of cases easy and awarding exemplary punishments to criminals, so that others may never dare to take such a step.

HARISH K. MONGA,
On e-mail

II

A democratic country has to safeguard its countrymenís fundamental rights through institutions like bureaucracy, elective representative bodies and judiciary. If these safeguarding institutions start malfunctioning, it will increase the number of neglected persons in society; injustice and crime will grow as a result. When people feel compelled to change the system, they take laws into their own hands almost always, which makes things even worse. Moreover, todayís man is running after wealth; everybody wants to be a millionaire overnight and the means just donít matter. It isnít long before the mad horde jumps into the world of crime. To tackle the situation, the safe-guarding institutions should be strengthened and their functioning should be monitored deeply, so that crime does not spared.

Dr GOPAL RANA,
Bilaspur (Yamunanagar)

Judiciary should be fair

Society can never be absolutely free of crime, but crime rate can be lowered, if there is a strong, dictatorial, honest, impartial and disciplined civil police and judicial administration that is fully accountable and not lax.

More jobs and better education should tone down the revulsion and violent thoughts in the minds of the youth. The criminal-politician-police nexus can be broken, if the judiciary remain above board and continues its unshakable faith in the integrity of fair play.

The putting of checks and balances in the three pillars of democracy should remain comprehensive and unimpeachable. We need an infusion of fresh breath, an awakening of social and moral values to rejuvenate our society, but it doesnít seem to be coming from anywhere.

DAYA NAND,
Charkhi Dadri

End social discrimination

Some of the major crimes impacting our society are violence against women, sexual abuse of children, discrimination against the Dalits, economic offences, corruption in governance, tax-evasion, liquor and drug-abuse, robbery, murder, rioting etc.

The major causes of these crimes are poverty, illiteracy, burgeoning population, ignorance, casteism, outdated tradition, communalism, employment, socio-economic inequalities, misuse of political power, politician-criminal-bureaucrat nexus, films based on sex and violence, inadequate role of police and civil administration and the slow pace of the judicial system.

The major agencies that can curb crime are education system, the media, political parties, the NGOs, police and civil administration, culture, socio-economic measures oriented towards an egalitarian society, easy justice, legislations to empower the deprived. Continued research on crime will help us tackle it effectively.

SUDESH KUMAR SHARMA,
Kapurthala

Society needs role models

Even though more than 50 years have passed since Independence, we are far from being a polished society. There are communal riots almost every day and thefts are common; there are rapes and even worst, unthinkable crimes.

Freedom has taught us nothing. Such a society cannot be reformed all of a sudden, and preaching morality is not going to help either. The only thing our social leaders can do is set examples. We cannot teach by sermonising what we can achieve by presenting the people with good role models.

If our social leaders pledge not to stoop, people will follow them. This will check the rising crime in the country. We produce the largest number of films in the world, yet how many of the hero/heroines are presented as good role models for the youth?

Prof P.K. GUPTA,
Bathinda

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