Rules of movement must be equal for all

Updated: Apr 15, 2020, 07:09 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

There is also the feeling, justified or not, that one needs 'influence' to get these letters. When there is no transparency or clarity, it is fertile ground for bitterness and a simmering sense of injustice

Jagjit Kaur Sahani has been stuck in the city since March 22
Jagjit Kaur Sahani has been stuck in the city since March 22

This paper carried a report about a handicapped lady, who lost her right leg in an accident, holed up in the city since March 22. The woman, who is from Warangal in Telangana, was here on a family visit but got stranded, in a manner of speaking, after the lockdown was announced suddenly. She is in a wheelchair.

Her case throws into the spotlight the procedure for applying for special permissions to go home.

It is vital that we restrict movement during the lockdown, including cross-border movement.

Yet, the process for a pass should be more transparent and there should be greater clarity when it comes to defining what constitutes an emergency situation, or what exactly authorities mean when they say that only life and death situations warrant that special pass.

Today, people who are applying to leave a particular place are told to apply by email. However, an email may not be enough to weigh the full gravitas of a situation or really know the urgency of a case. One does accede that the force is stretched in these days, but officers should be designated to check the credibility of certain individual cases, look into the merit of a claim and then make an informed, educated judgement about whether to give the applicant a permission letter.

There is also the feeling, justified or not, that one needs 'influence' to get these letters. When there is no transparency or clarity, it is fertile ground for bitterness and a simmering sense of injustice. A family that had been eluding the ED and had an arrest warrant against certain members was given a letter to move out of their place for some non-existent emergency and individuals who are on the edge of an abyss of despair are waiting, crying out for permission. Shame on us.

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