Within a couple of days of the horrible murder of Radhika Tanwar, a Delhi college student, our News channels were out screaming for justice. The constant screams were ‘48 hours and no arrest, 72 hours and still no arrest’! While one sympathizes with the victim and the family nothing can explain this outrageous behaviour by the media. CNN-IBN has even announced a special program ‘Justice For Radhika’! Looks like they seem convinced Radhika won’t get justice or that CNN-IBN would be the one to force police action to render justice to the victim. All this within three days of the incident.
While there is a lot to be desired of our police services they are surely not magicians to trace a killer in what was almost a ‘hit and run’ murder in a public place, with no witnesses coming forward. Little does the media seem to appreciate that investigating crimes is painstaking work and requires a great deal of scientific and logical process. Chest-beating by the media is more a hindrance than any use to an investigation. Have they forgotten the Aarushi case already?
CNN-IBN now has egg on its face for prematurely trying to run a campaign called ‘Justice for Radhika’. This is almost akin to scavenging. At the time of writing this the Delhi police have already arrested a person called Vijay alias Ram Singh in what seems to be an outcome of some sensible investigative work. Due process will reveal whether Vijay was indeed the killer but all evidences and history seem to add up.
There is a need for the media to report but equally important to allow reasonable time for police officials to do their jobs. Excessive breast beating only hampers investigations. One hopes CNN-IBN learns a lesson and shows restraint and patience.
A word on DCP Dhaliwal. He comes across as a level-headed and well meaning police officer. But he would do well not to speak to the media when he is in the middle of an investigation of a terrible crime. This is best left to the PRO of the police department.
The pattern appears to be clear. Nothing works like a good crime for our media. A good sensational crime and the scavengers will be in great business. Sick! Venal!