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Some people unlike the indifferent majority, do the right thing by certain other people and in return get some not so right things done to them by another set of people. As they say, bhalai ka zamaana hi nahi raha. Look at what happened to a 19 year old lad from Vizag, who probably had learned at his mother’s knee and took it to heart that he should help those in need. He is now ‘paying the price for rescuing a 16-year old girl’ (Indian Express 23/09/10). Wonderful world, isn’t it??

The girl, apparently had a tiff with her mother and left home in a huff. The boy found her crying in the train for lack of money to pay the TTE. The quarrel with the mother probably still ranking, the girl pretended to him to be an orphan. The boy took her under his wing, paid the necessary money and took her home with him.

His parents, who had probably been the very ones to ingrain this helpful nature in him put their foot down when confronted with proof of their successful indoctrination. This is a problem frequently encountered with parents: they teach you the theory and rub it into you at every opportunity they get, but when it comes to the practical they not only get cold feet, but also withdraw support at the most inopportune of moments.

Anyway, the good soul that the boy was, he was not prepared to abandon the girl who he believed to be an orphan. He mortgaged her gold necklace and with the money put her in a ladies hostel. A month later, she contacted him and told him the truth about herself; she was not an orphan after all.  As one would expect,  the boy immediately contacted her brother, and here is where the story feels a little thin to me, the brother instead of rushing over to get his sister asked the boy to come to Kerala.

The boy travelled to Kerala with a friend, was promptly nabbed by our friendly neighborhood policemen and ‘kept under illegal detention’ as also tortured.  Our supposed saviors and protectors, the policemen, allegedly wanted a whopping sum of 1 lakh rupees for letting him go. Poor fellows, the policemen I mean, they probably wanted compensation for not being able to indulge in their favorite past-time of torturing those in custody and that too for ‘framed’ offenses. Or, let me think, maybe it was a fine imposed on him for doing some good work and a warning to citizens in general, to desist from helping each other in the future.

In the meantime, the resourceful fellows that our friendly neighborhood policemen are, they hadn’t forgotten the missing girl. They brought her home, but only after collecting a handsome sum of 84.0000 rupees from the mother of the ‘missing’ girl. Talk about milking a situation.

What poor ignorant bozos our policemen are. Nobody seems to have told them that finding and bringing home missing children is part of their job and they cannot go around the country-side fleecing ordinary citizens or anyone for that matter for doing their job. Tsk tsk tsk. Besides. no one seems to have told the crooked buggers that what they get on the first of every month is THE remuneration for just this sort of work they do.

Once the daughter was back home, the mother took it upon herself to complain to the authorities about the bribe she had been forced to pay to the unscrupulous men in khaki. She, bless her soul, also said that the boy was innocent. Subsequently, two assistant Sub-Inspectors were suspended and a departmental inquiry is on against a Constable.

Meantime, what of our Good Samaritan, the boy??

He got a conditional bail after 45 days of his stay in detention through the good offices of a sympathetic local Advocate. He is now “shuttling between Vizag and Kollam to prove his innocence.” (IE 23/09/10) …and all because, in the goodness of his heart, he considered helping someone he thought was in distress.

There was a time not long back when people refused to stop and help accident victims on the roads, not because they did not care, but because if they did, they had to face incessant harassment from policemen. It needed the Court to come to the aid of those who helped others. Looks like the Court will have to step in once again to help those who give a helping hand. Or else when our children are in some trouble and a stranger wants to lend a helping hand, won’t they pause to reconsider and decide against it due to the risks involved?? If that happens, can we really blame them??

Based on a news report on ‘Police Brutality’ in the Indian Express of 24/09/10.