The abduction of master Anant, aged 3 years, coincided with the commencement of my mandatory leave for the year. As a result I was able to follow the event with unusual attention.
When I first heard of it, apart from the usual indignation, I was upset at the state of affairs in UP. I mean these things are so common place there that if not for the fact that the incident involved the son of Adobe's CEO it wouldn't have made news. The sight of the crying father was actually quite disturbing. I mean this guy must be a complete rockstar in office heading the India operations of such a prominent US firm, and he's been brought to his knees by the mis-governance in UP.
Some three hopeless days into the case I heard over lunch that Adobe has moved the US Embassy on the matter. At that point of time, I told my Mom, I think this case is going to be resolved in the next 6 hours.
Sure enough by dinner the dude was back at home, sipping from a large bottle of Coke, having been left back in an auto rickshaw to celebrate his Happy Budday!!! All's well for Mr. CEO who now says no ransom was paid. Mama, Papa and Didi crowd around the little boy, have their photos taken, all smiles. At a hastily called press conference the police narrates the events which led to the recovery of the child- a story which has such gaping holes and contradictions, that it will put a third rate pick pocket from a BEST bus to shame (for instance it is not clear whether the ransom was not paid, or was the Rs. 50lakhs paid returned). I shall not bore people with the details fabricated by the police. But I definately have some questions.
How come nothing happened for 3 days, and then finally everything fell in place within 3 hours of the complaint from the US embassy?
How come the people arrested in the crime have no past record? I am sure it is easier to solve crimes in such record times when they are committed by the "usual suspects". And I am even more sure that in the state of Uttar Pradesh there are many such usual suspects.
I feel that whoever was responsible for the abduction has not been nabbed. And that the child was recovered in such record time implies some frantic calls between the PMO, the Foreign Office and the Home Ministry. Of course, given the context of current fibre of US-India diplomacy, the interests of Uncle Sam have to be taken cognizance of. But I am not complaining. For once a word from the Big Brotha has ensured that something good gotten done.
So does that mean that the police, if pressurized can always produce such amazing results? But then why don't they do it everytime? Did the police know all along where the child was? And if yes, then why does it let such crimes continue? The answers will not be provided in this post, but I guess they are failry obvious.
I feel more than anything else this is an expose on the corruption in the police forces. If the recovery was an outcome of genuine crime solving, then the stories being floated from official quarters would have at least tied in, sounded gullible. Someone came under pressure, was told to make the problem go away, did so, but then forgot to cover their tracks. Whoever saw the press conference on TV would agree to that.
Recently, a distant relative was kidnapped in a certain eastern state. His brother's friend, a prominent crime journalist decided to take up the cudgels and began pursuing the case. Within hours of it being known that investigations were being done by this particular journalist, the relative surfaced. No money changed hands, no threats. Nothing. Isn't it amazing that when almost every other case ends in the ransom being paid, or in death, these cases had such speedy resolutions.
Someone, not me, has to ask these questions to the powers that be. But then, who's listening. Till then "Always Coca- Cola: Long Live Uncle Sam".