Chinese Manja; seize-release


JAMMU: Marred by over half a day monsoon rain, Jammu skies witnessed a whopping number of colorful kites, donning and dancing in tone with the Sawan breeze, marking the auspicious occasion of Raksha Bandhan-Kache Dagoon Ka Tyohar. However, the kites were tied with very strong but ferocious and Chinese glass coated strings, betraying the tall claims of the police about the large scale seizure of the banned material. The kite flying will continue till Janamashtami, at least, thus posing a perpetual threat to commuters, especially the two-wheeler users. The nation is witnessing each year numerous lives falling prey to the Chinese strings. Very recently, as latest as this week, a horrendous incident took the life of a 35 year old young man. Nobody can vouch that this was the last such incident. Fatal incidents will continue unless the law-enforcing agencies put their act together and carry out the anti-Chinese string drive with sincerity of purpose.
Credit would certainly go to the police for its claims of seizing heaps of the banned strings. Had there been any credibility in such reports, the skies would not have witnessed Dragon making its presence felt on every roof-top.
Anyway, the question is not how successfully the raids and special drives fill the coffers of the Malkhana with the banned strings; the point is where the seized material goes. While the publicity managers of the police are prompt enough in ‘revealing’ about the seizures, it has never ever disclosed what happened to heaps of stocks under the safe supervision of the Khakis. One wonders whether there is any record of the banned material. The police alone can unfold this mystery.

The theory of ‘Malkhana’ is unconvincing because the standard operating procedure envisages prosecution of the erring traders dealing in the sale of banned material. This entails challan of the accused in the court of law. The seized material is also produced as evidence against the accused, which is kept in the Malkhanas available in the court premises. After due judicial process, the seized material is required to be disposed of according to laid out procedure but does it happen? At this stage, the script of seizures gets changed. What happens to the seized material next never comes out in the public domain.
One wonders what would be the response of the police if any overenthusiastic RTI activist dares to ask for the status of the seized material. Grapevine stories go on claiming that the seized Chinese Manja finally goes back to the vicious market, reminding of the couplet, ‘Pahunchi Waheen Pe Khaak Jahaan Ka Khameer Tha.’ Most of it goes to the families of the senior officers to oblige kids to enjoy kite flying.
According to sources privy to police circles, there is seldom regular monitoring of these seizures and very few people keep track of all this. Therefore, the chances of the seized Maanja getting entry into the market places via well connected nexus again remains crucial.
However, police needs to keep more vigil. There must be some deterrent. All this process should be supervised by senior police officers. The seizures should be duly recorded in the inventories and disposed of as per the procedure.