Caught napping

Locals in the eastern border districts seem to be panicking lately because of rumours that kidnappers of small children are on the prowl. Ostensibly, it is said these intruders take out the kidneys and eyes of these children. As a result there have been a spate of incidents of the people in the area beating up these alleged kidnappers and sometimes burning them to death. On Saturday, two persons were burnt alive on the suspicion that they were involved in abducting children in Saptari and Sunsari districts. A few days ago as well one unidentified person was also burnt alive on similar suspicion in Saptari. So far a dozen such ‘suspicious’ people have fallen victim to such assaults. The villagers seem to be very afraid when they see new, unrecognized faces in their area and believe that they are out to harm their children as a result of which they resort to killing and beating them. In a few cases, the police have been able to save the victims before the infuriated locals unjustly took their lives. The police are now informing the public in the affected districts through loud speakers that no such racket is taking place in a large scale as feared and generally believed, and that there is very little to worry about and that if the allegations are true then the police are on the alert and carrying out patrols to nab the culprits.

More innocent people could lose their lives if these incidents are allowed to continue. Furthermore, those locals responsible for carrying out the unfair attacks have apparently not been brought to book. According to the laws of the land, people are not allowed to take the law in their hands. Rather they should be informing the law enforcement bodies about any suspicious people and activities that come to their notice. Many of the victims who have been victimized are women. Moreover, it is also learnt that some of them are mentally ill, and they have been ill treated or even killed. If the allegations of kidnappings are not true, then those carrying out the attacks are acting in the most loathsome manner by killing and harming innocent people, which is unforgivable.

However, that some of the kidnappings are real is evident from reports that a few people are actually carrying out abductions. But this is no reason to be suspicious of every stranger that comes visiting in their vicinity. Since the police alone are not able to stop the lynching and killing of the innocent people, there is call for restraint from all sides concerned. Suspects should under all circumstances be handed over to the police, who would then carry out the necessary investigations and punish the genuine kidnappers and, at the same time, ensure that the innocent people do not fall victims to the barbaric acts that defy imagination in this modern age. That these incidents have now become commonplace shows that the locals in the area should see reason and not whimsically see all aliens as hostile and not be carried away by hearsay, as they appear to be doing now. In any case, this is the time to stay calm and not to act in an irresponsible manner for the lives of innocent people are involved.