Justice Delayed? Or Justice Denied?
In our country, justice is known to be operating at snail's pace. The case of Pritam Bhattacharjee, a boy from Silchar, Assam has been awaiting justice for the past five years - an issue which really forces us to ponder upon the fact whether justice can at all be realized.
The popular dictum of justice delayed being justice denied is not always untrue, and this is often proved perpetually through the slow or negligible working of the Indian law and penal system. The case of Pritam Bhattacharjee, a Ph.D Student from Silchar, Assam, for example, which has remain unsolved over the last five years, presents a very sorry picture of our country's justice structure.
This young and promising boy, who had dreams and prospects of a lucrative future before him, witnessed a sudden end to his aspirations in a manner which was most brutal and heinous. On July 8, 2012, when Pritam Bhattacharjee boarded the Awadh-Assam Express from Silchar to head for the capital city of our country, little did he realize that this journey would lead him to his doom. Merely a day after he had embarked upon his journey, the boy went missing in a mysterious way. It appears that Pritam had called up his parents on 9th July somewhat around noon to intimate them about a theft which had occurred. He had told them that some miscreants had snatched his bag containing his testimonials and laptop and had escaped. The parents were more concerned about his security and so they advised him to drop the matter as of then and return home. But thereafter, there was no more news from him. His mobile too got switched off.
The incident had occurred at Naugachhia railway station in Bhagalpur district of Bihar. Some sources even report that Pritam Bhattacharjee had tried to give a chase to the miscreants. Later, the police embarked upon a frantic search, and after about six days, they stumbled upon Pritam's dead body. His mobile phone, driving license and PAN card were recovered from his wallet but his laptop could not be found. Also missing were his digital camera and his marksheets and testimonials.
Ever since Pritam went missing, his family and relatives had been putting up at Naugachhia. The sudden and untoward news of Pritam's death came as a shock not only to them but to numerous friends and well-wishers in Silchar who had been similarly sharing the dreams of a bright future for this meritorious boy of their town.
The police investigated into the matter and it was suspected that an overdose of sedatives had been administered to the boy by his assailants, who thereafter mutilated and dumped his body on the tracks under a railway footbridge between Kataria and Kursela. It was also suspected that the act was committed out of brutal vengeance as no ransom calls had been made. The culprits must have got antagonized by the fact that the brave by had tried to confront them and rescue his belongings and certificates upon which his career depended.
Pritam's murder evoked a stringent and sharp reaction from all corners, and more so because of the fact that no arrest could be made. Even to this day, after a period of five years, the culprits are still unidentified and unarrested.
Pritam Bhattacharjee, an inspiration for many, today remains a memory. The brilliant post-graduate in Physics from Gauhati University who wanted to pursue his PhD in Delhi, could not achieve anything more than a martyr's death. What is depressing, however, is the manner in which our law system is operating. An innocent boy gets murdered in broad daylight for no apparent reason and the authorities remain helpless. Leave alone arrest, even an identification of the culprits have not been made who are roaming free on the streets, possibly hunting for another vulnerable target. Indeed, it is a shame, that justice is denied in numerous cases.