May 24, 2019

Bandh and Law Abiding Citizens

Compensation for law abiding citizens

Forced Bandh is a tool used by all political parties and at times by unknown entity to make their presence felt. While it has a thin line legally, most of the times the state governments are more of patient spectator and expect law abiding citizens to stay indoors. Public and government properties are burned and damaged, even the the essential services are not spared. So what does the law abiding citizens do?

Any outfit has the right to protest peacefully without hampering fundamental rights of the citizens. If any XYZ political party feels the need for a Bandh they can go ahead as per the legal procedures but compelling business to close down or disrupting essential services like Hospital, state roadways buses and railways is just not done.

The only way to stop this nonsense is recover money from the protestors, arrest them under all permissible stringent laws and recover money. Put these cases under fast track court and ensure it is a water tight case. Issue guidelines to MSM on to what extent they show live visuals, monitor debates if they are provocative.

Law abiding citizens are the biggest loosers. This includes BPL and middle class citizens.

In the past  Supreme Court of India and High Courts have very explicitly spoken on these Bandh.

The issue here is state governments have never shown the urgency to collect dues or seal the assets of such trouble makers. Law abiding citizens patience is being tested day in day out. Mumbai Municipal Corporation has Clean Up Commandos. If you are seen spitting, throwing garbage, etc you are fined on the spot. Goons who beat up law abiding citizens, burn government and private property have a free run. State government is seen helpless and appears as if they have given one day to the party calling bandh to do whatever they want. Imagine the plight of the law abiding citizen. If a bike or a four wheeler is burned or damaged, the insurance company will not give 100% refund. This entire exercise takes anything in the range of 15 days to couple of months. The EMI for the vehicle anyways has to be paid. Add to this additional burden on commuting. Has the state government at any point of time ever thought of compensating such Law Abiding Citizens?

Loss of opportunity to lacs of citizens, businesses and government is another area government and judiciary has to seriously think. Damages to movable and immovable assets are too small a loss. The losses have to be seen and calculated in bigger perspective. Punishment to perpetrators at any level should have exemplary legal and financial punishments. Why symbolic arrests. Leaving people after symbolic arrests has become a practice. Why doesn’t the government and court leave citizens after symbolic arrests for first  crime. Thousand of citizens rot in prison for not paying small amount for bail then why INR 10,000 bail amount for damages worth crores or just symbolic arrest for forced Bandh? There are too many whys the government and judiciary has to answer.

High time existing laws are put to optimumt use to make landmark judgement and no mercy by way of giving stay or bail. Patience of Law abiding citizens has been tested beyond the limits.

Bandh has to be peaceful and based on past experience a sizable amount should be taken as deposit. Government should provide full security to Law abiding citizens and they should not be asked to stay indoors if government is inefficient to control the mob. It is a shame that the law and it’s implementation along with the extent keeps changing depending on the political environment. While pellet guns are supposed to be the maximum in Kashmir on stone pelters, live bullets were used in Haryana and in Maharashtra the government decided not to indulge in any kind of force. Police force is capable of giving their best. Really sad to see them helpless in front of such mob as they have to await orders before taking suitable action. Ordinary citizen is arrested for crossing the railway track but the ones who bring local trains to a halt move around like KING.

Based on past record anyone who wish to call for a Bandh, should be asked to pay a security deposit to the state or central government as the case may be. The amount can be returned once the Bandh is peaceful and checking other facts.

Law abiding citizens are watching this dirty game. Development can’t be solution to all social issues. Silence can’t be solution to burning situation. Law will take it’s own course can’t be the template reply.

Running government is important and remaining in power is equally important. Trend is changing fast. If leaders and political parties don’t change Law abiding Citizens will protest in the most democratic way on judgement day.

If ribbon cutting and secular functions are over, each BJP leader and their family members big or small needs to read the book ” Who Moved my Cheese”. 

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