Life-time Punishment for An Innocent Mistake?

Posted on February 22, 2010 in Society

Vasudha Nukala:

In which world would one say that jail is the penalty for an innocent mistake that occurred because of fear? Fear has always been the cause of mistakes and it continues to rake its power. No one in their wide awake life would think that one day they would wake up, do one small mistake and land up in jail for that. A 13- year old, fearing punishment from his father boarded the first train he spotted at his local railway station at Lahore and he had no idea that the train he had boarded was Samjhauta Express and even less inkling, that he would land in prison on the Indian side of the border due to his fear.

It has been over a month since this young kid has been held captive in the Juvenile Prison. A student of class VII in a government school in Lahore, he misses his mother, little sister and group of friends he used to hang out with. Now, even his father’s stern punishments seem sweet compared to the unfriendly, harsh treatment that he is getting in India. The Pakistani boy naively looked at the journalists and asked if he could not be forgiven his “small mistake” and allowed to be reunited with his family so that he can lead his normal life.

The boy recalls that he was as usual hanging out with his friends and when it was time for him to go home; he had panicked and boarded the train which landed him this trouble. But even this was nothing compared to what followed. The boy was taken into custody and then he was accused of violating various sections of the law for running afoul of the Indian Passengers Act and the Foreigners Act. Since then, he had been held in the Juvenile Prison. Even his pleas for making an overseas phone call to his family have been turned down by the Indian authorities of the Juvenile.

Why this injustice? Wasn’t it always considered that human justice is the foremost duty of humanity? We, as Indians who have always been famous for their helping nature should make new rules so that the Innocent don’t suffer. There should be a separate law which would provide facilities to such innocent kids to be deported immediately to their countries. Such incidents appal us and make us realize our duties as humans. We should take a stand and help such innocents against injustice.

Source: The Hindu

The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz