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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    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.
  • #610327
    This has been shifted from the articles section to the forum. Though lengthy for the forum, it has been well written and it is worth discussing this issue about delayed justice sometimes being justice denied.
    When people come at you with their worst, you should come at them with your best (advice given to Selena Gomez by her mother, quoted in Time magazine.)

  • #610328
    I now recall that I read about this incident long back. I am astonished to know that there is no progress in the investigation. I can only suggest the relatives of Pritam Bhattacharjee to file a Habeas Corpus Writ petition, either in the High Court of Bihar or in the High Court of Assam. The SP of Bhagalpur (where the incident occurred) and the DG, RPF (as the incident occurred in train) must be made parties as respondents.

    I have no further comments to make right now. My heart-felt sympathy for the family-members.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #610333
    Partha, please note that Pritam's body has been recovered and therefore the Writ of Habeas Corpus cannot be invoked in this case. It is no doubt an example of the lackadaisical attitude of the investigating agencies that no clue could be gathered till date. And so many years having passed by, we will have to wait and see whether the police would be able to trace the culprits. The parents or well wishers should have approached the Judiciary if they felt that the investigation is not progressing or is not moving on the right track and should have requested for an investigation by a central agency like the CBI. I personally don't think it is a mere case of theft followed by murder. I am surprised why no information of any sort could be gathered from the co-passengers so that some link could be established. I remember having read this report but would refresh myself and come back here if felt necessary.
    'It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it'. - Aristotle.

  • #610337
    Thanks to Mr. Saji Ganesh for pointing out my mistake.

    The area where the incident took place (Bhagalpur) is known for its lawlessness.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #610367
    Actually, the reports that had come in at that time regarding the murder of Pritam are contradictory to some extent. There have been reports that he gave a chase to the thieves and that he might have been abducted by them after overpowering him. Another report from a reliable source, quoting his family, says that he got down at Naugachia station in Bihar following the culprits and had lodged a complaint with the RPF and also the local police; he is said to have contacted his family from there and from then onward his mobile phone was found switched off. Reports from NDTV suggest that one person was arrested in connection with the case based on the information provided by two eye witnesses and that he would be produced before the court subsequently.

    Such contradictory reports is a clear indication to the fact that it may not be a simple case of theft and subsequent killing of the boy. And that might be one of the reasons why the police may not have been able to arrive at a conclusion as yet. The latest position of the case is not known and I think it would be nice if the author could shed some light on it.

    'It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it'. - Aristotle.

  • #610368
    The story was very moving and this once again proves that unless and until if one pursues the cases with the courts, justice cannot be done and that would be indefinitely delayed or even denied.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #610408
    It is true that Justice delayed is justice denied. In our country, the courts will take their own time in finalising the cases. Meanwhile, the culprits will be enjoying their life and the other party will be waiting anxiously for justice. This is almost the case in many cases. How to make the things to move past is nobody's subject.
    Mr.Pritam Bhattacharjee 's murder incident is heart touching and I am really worried whether the truth will see its day at any point of time. I can understand the pain his family members are bearing in their life because of this incident.

    always confident

  • #610450
    It is really sad to know that there is no progress in the investigation so far. It is not only the situation in Pritam's case but in many cases. Media might bring this up in news for few days then both media and public will start forgetting it. Later on it will be a lose only for the victim's parents and siblings, rest of the world will start forgetting the case. The culprit will take use of this situation and nicely bribe the investigation officer. Thus he will be saved and as they are not given proper punishment, they will tend to do the same crime again and again.

    Even if the culprit is caught, then there is a long procedure again. Many a times I have felt the culprit will enjoy his life outside for years and by the time when he is old, the verdict will come. But I feel no point of such verdicts and investigations. Immediate punishments are to be given only then the crime rates will reduce. Hope the actual culprit in Pritam's case is found soon and let him get the punishment that he deserves.

    "Do not give up, things might not favour you always"

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