mid-day editorial: Don't wait till disaster strikes before acting

If the police had done their job, five-year-olds Hawari Alman Kadir and Aditya Prajapati would have been alive today. Hours before the two kids were mowed down by a truck driver, the same man had knocked down a biker whose arm got fractured in the accident. Instead of taking action, cops simply looked the other way, and the trucker walked scot-free.

While passers-by took the biker to the hospital, the police did not even conduct a breathalyser test or file a complaint against the truck driver. All this, despite the pleas from witnesses that he should be detained or at least tested for alcohol. The police stated that no complaint had been filed as the injured did not return to the police station post the accident.

That, though, is only a small part of the story. As those who have to safeguard the city, the cops should have at least made some attempt to hold the driver, run tests on him and take down a complaint. It is too much to ask the injured victims to return to the police station to file a complaint, as they are usually caught up with treatment and are already traumatised. In that condition, it is also possible the victims just don’t have the presence of mind to return and file a complaint.

The police should display the will to stop an errant motorist, question him and warn him, at the very least.

A so-called ‘small’ incident may be the precursor to a much bigger tragedy, as this case has proved.

Nothing will bring the children back. Nothing is going to heal the wounds of those who were accompanying the kids and have been grievously injured. Yet, this kind of negligence, apathy and downright slipshod work needs investigation and, most of all, accountability. Nobody can undo what has happened, but we can prevent a recurrence. There is some solace in that.

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