When in trouble, text the cop
- by Sabin Iqbal
It must have been nine in the night. I was at my regular medical shop at Kazhakkoottam. The usual Technopark crowd had all gone home. The street was relatively empty but for the occasional grunts of trucks and cars.
There were about three to four men by the counter. I leaned on the counter as the shopkeeper was packing medicine.
There was a thin, bearded man standing next to me. He was in a khakhi shirt, and I presumed he was an auto driver.
After a few minutes, I was startled by a slapping noise. I turned back. A hefty man in white mundu and shirt was standing behind the auto driver. He had slapped him.
Before the poor fellow could recover from the shock, the man button-holed him and threatened to smash his head. In no time there was a hefty left hook that nearly floored the man.
As we all stood still wondering what was happening, the man walked away. As he disappeared into the darkness, the auto driver came up to the medical shopkeeper and asked if he knew why he was beaten up!
I asked him if he knew the person who beat him. He said he didn't.
Was it a case of mistaken identity?
Now, the slap could've been a stab because the man was drunk. He could have killed him.
One of my colleagues had a similar experience. While riding his bike home one night, he took a turn near his house in Pettah and saw a gang of four to five men standing in the middle of the lane with swords and knives. It was apparent that they were waiting for someone. They took a good look at my colleague as he slowed down the bike. When they realized it was not the person they were waiting for, they stepped back.
A piece of misinformation or a wrong message could have made my colleague a victim. For the attackers it would be a goof up, but what about the victim and his family?
I shuddered at the thought. A mistaken identity could lead to a tragedy. And, it dawned on me that travelling late night in the city is not that advisable.
In the light of these incidents, Kerala Police's latest facility of having an SMS number for complaints and alerts will help the public get in touch with the police.
If someone comes across any law and order problem or has any complaints against police officers or has a lead to a criminal or a crime, he or she can send an SMS to 9497900000. The message will soon be passed on to the concerned officer.
Police has made the facility available to the public. Now it is the public's responsibility to use it and see how effective the system and police are.