How the system fails every 15-year-old girl of the country

15-year-old Kusum was returning home after taking tuition when she was attacked by snatchers on a bike. A man tried to snatch her mobile in the middle of the road on Sunday afternoon. Kusum fought back and not only wrested her mobile but also nabbed him with the help of passers-by. She is currently recuperating after wrist surgery. She wants to be a policewoman. Her father who is a daily wager in an iron gave her his mobile so that she could attend online classes. Of late she has also been learning Taekwondo on it. Deputy Commissioner announced an award of Rs 51,000. Jalandhar police have also recommended her name for the national bravery award.

Sounds like a happy story, right?

A crime happened there, which probably could have been avoided. If you read the new clip, there is not even an iota of concern forget about accountability. The obvious reaction to that is police can't be there in every nook and corner of the country. It is not about the police. It is about processes!

The police said that the man she fought off was a hardened criminal who was facing seven cases but was out on bail due to pandemic. So pandemic has become a legit reason for hardened criminals to be out. Indeed. According to a CHRI analysis of NCRB prison data, India’s overall jail occupancy rate is 118.5%. In 8 states & UTs, this figure is over 150%. The problem existed before coronavirus. The process should ensure that prisons maintain a limit on occupancy. The Govt should focus on creating prison space as much as they do on central vista because believe it or not, some of them are going to end up in one soon.

Due to Covid-19, the Supreme Court had directed states to release prisoners, facing up to seven years of jail terms on parole. Uttar Pradesh government had released nearly 18,000 prisoners on parole by June 25 (IE). In April, the Tihar jail authorities released around 2,800 prisoners in Delhi(HT). How many times Police Personnels would have risked their lives! What does this do to their morale and belief in the system?

At the end of 2019, there were 4,78,600 prisoners in 1,350 prisons, of which 3,30,487 — or 69%— were under-trial prisoners (Print). So, 3 lac people are in prison where we don't know if they committed the crime. But it is logical because well, they might have. 3.7 million cases are pending in courts for over 10 years (HT). How much time one ends up spending in prison without committing a crime depends on the process. What does a month in jail do to the morale and belief in the system for someone who didn't commit a crime?

MHA has expressed concern over crimes committed by prisoners on parole and those released prematurely and advised states, "release on parole is not an absolute right and is a concession". It further added that a balance is essential between the rights of inmates and protecting society from further harm".

Guidelines only work when adequate resources and processes are in place, otherwise-


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