Monday, December 29, 2008

The Inevitable Aftermath

Jean Charles de Menezes, a 27-year-old Brazilian was gunned down by police men in the aftermath of the July 7 bombings. Jean had tried to run from the police and was unarmed.

Mohammed Mukarram Pasha, a 19-year-old first year B.Com student of Bangalore's Baldwin Methodist's College was fatally shot by the Army guards in the aftermath of the Mumbai mayhem. Mukarram had tried to flee from the army camp and was unarmed.

There are a lot of similarities between the two incidents. Armed authorities had taken extreme measures, something they would have normally avoided otherwise. Both incidents have taken place in the aftermath of terrorist attacks. It is a time when authorities prefer to put a bullet, instead of apprehending a suspect.

Mukarram had entered the Flag Staff House by jumping the compound wall, fleeing from the police. He was only guilty of drag racing and trespassing, as claimed by the police. However, when he ignored the army guards’ warnings and tried to flee from the army camp, he was fatally shot at and was declared dead on arrival by the doctors at the St Philomena's Hospital.

People close to Mukarram are seething with anger, accusing the army guards of being trigger happy. They argue that with six guards, they could have easily apprehended Mukarram instead of shooting at him.

Ironically, this incident has taken place hours after the Home Guards in Bangalore organized a rally to mark 'National Disaster Reduction Day' on Sunday, asking citizens to play a role in securing the city.

Do you think that the army guards were well within their rights to shoot or could they have shown some restraint? Should the guard who shot Mukarram be court marshalled?

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