Govt. got temple inside office building, but no guard, CCTV, or visitors register
Past Saturday, the purse of an employee stolen from office almirah at the HP Directorate of Ayurveda in Shimla, the Govt. office has a temple inside the building, but no guard, CCTV, or visitors register to ensure security against thefts, while Shimla Police’s pessimistic, blunt responses leave the victim sobbing in hopelessness.
SHIMLA- In a theft case yesterday, an employee’s purse was stolen from one of the office almirah at the HP Directorate of Ayurveda, situated at Kasumpti SDA Complex in Shimla. The purse contained gold jewelry worth more than 1 lacs including cash, bank passbook, Debit Card etc. According to the victim, Anita Sharma, the theft took place during the lunch break hours when she left the cabin for just 5-10 minutes.
The thief opened the almirah, which was full of files, and picked up the purse and disappeared. Interestingly, a smaller wallet inside another packet, which wasn’t visible otherwise, was also missing while the packet was left behind. Both the police and the staff suspect that the thief is likely an insider, perhaps, another employee as it’s not possible for an outsider to guess and pick selective items within such a short time. The police arrived at the scene after a distressed call from the victim, documented the statements, talked to the staff and left.An HW member was informed regarding the same and was present at the scene during all this time.
Now, let’s come to some serious, careless, and illogical mistakes on the part of the Govt. Department, which indeed complimented by director’s vision and sense of duty. First, three similar incidents of theft had already been reported in the same office, but no security measure is taken like providing a single CCTV camera anywhere, at least, at the main gate. Second, while some of the Govt. offices in SDA complex has a guard with a visitors register to monitor the movement of outsiders, the Directorate of Ayurveda did not provide one. There isn’t any visitors register or guard to keep a record of the visitors and check the entry of beggars, salesmen, or any other outsider who wanders the place for no reason. Why even the higher Govt. officials don’t pay attention towards facilitating the subordinate employees? Why no security measure was taken when there had already been theft cases in the same office?
Through on of the readers, we came across some constitutional issues related with secularism in Govt. Institutes. With a little search on Google we found that:
“So far as secularism is concerned, Articles 25 to 30 provide for the same. In Kesavanada V State of Kerala (AIR 1973 S.C. 1461) and in Indira V Rajnarain (AIR 1975 S.C. 2299) the Supreme Court has observed that by secularism it is meant that the State shall not discriminate against any citizen on the ground of religion only and that the State shall have no religion of its own and all persons shall be equally entitled to the freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion. To spell out the above ideas which in fact existed prior to 1976, the preamble to the Constitution was amended in 1976”.
We also found that on August 28, 2013, “the Odisha High Court had admitted a PIL seeking removal of temples, photographs, idols of deities from the premises of government offices and police stations and issued notices to the state government asking it to file counters within four weeks.”
However, there is a grand temple space inside the same office building with a big statue, embellished and caressed with sufficient decoration, lights etc. What kind of joke is it to spend on temples inside an office building, but ignoring the need of a visitors register, a guard or any security measure like CCTV? In this case, CCTV footage would have easily solved the case because the mention cabin is the first one anyone sees after stepping inside the gate.
To Shimla Police
The Shimla policemen did all that they are ought to do at such a scene. We won’t comment on their procedure, but we do see a very relevant issue regarding the psychological aspect and blunt behavior. The concerned employee was sobbing, blaming herself for carelessness and the circumstantial co-incidents that facilitated the theft. When she asked cops how much hope is there to catch the thief, the cops replied very casually in a polite voice, “Ab dekhte hain ji. Ab to agle hafthe he kuch ho payega, election duty hai”
While writing down the cost of jewelry items, the traumatized victim tried to correct that her gold Mangal-Sutra cost, which she had mistakenly said to be 10 thousand less than its real cost. On telling the cops that it was 25 thousand and not 15, one of them responded, again with the same politeness, “kya fark padta hai ji, 15 ho 25 ho, hume to bus lump sum dekhana hai”
It sounds like a man catches cold, falls ill with a mild fever, and calls a doctor, who tell the patient that he is doomed and going to suffer a boiling fever for an unknown period and might not recover from it ever. Police is the biggest and the only hope after that of God for most of the victim of a crime or theft in which they lost their valuable assets. The hope is what should be given as a first aid to the traumatized victims, not pessimistic responses, at least, when the wounds are fresh. Registering FIRs, investigating the scene or such thefts are routine tasks for the police, but losing over a lac from the office almirah in just 10 minutes is a shock to any average citizen, who is a contractual employee in a Govt. department and have 5-7 thousand monthly salary. Does it sound routine to anyone?
The responsibility of police isn’t limited to just legalities on the crime scene. The people must feel that police really understand their pain, care about them, and give attention to the damage they suffered. It’s more a psychological aspect related to responses of police to the already freaked victims. In cases like the one we have here, the cops should be hopeful, not blunt. When they have options to chose words, they should have told the victim that in many cases, the thieves were busted and assets were recovered or a choice of more optimistic word would have helped better.
We would like to bring this drawback to the attention of Shimla Police SP, Abhishake Dullar. There was nothing offending about it. The cops were polite and friendly, but their bluntness sent the victim into a state of hopelessness. We hope, some tips on such common psychological aspects would be passed to the whole police department.
The conclusion is that the Himachal Pradesh Govt. and the higher officials at these Govt. departments are asleep in an age when even small shops and restaurants have multiple CCTVs installed. HW is forwarding this article to both Shimla Police SP and the Director of Ayurveda HP in hope that they’ll give a thought about the mentioned issues.