TODAY -

Pravish Chanam case: Will justice be delivered finally ?
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: October 15, 2021 -



AT a glance, four years seem more than enough time for a reputed agency like the CBI to unearth circumstances leading to criminal cases and nail the perpetrators but Wednesday's ruling by the CBI court at Ghaziabad for reinvestigation into Pravish Chanam case testifies that even the premier probe agency faces obstacles if there is lack of commitment and sincerity on the part of its backup partners such as the police.

As per the ease dossiers, then 22-year old Pravish Chanam went missing from a concert venue in Noida on September 8, 2017, his lifeless body reportedly recovered the next day, sent for autopsy and cremated by UP police reportedly with the consent of the hospital authorities.

The incident created huge uproar and led to protests in the state subsequent to allegations that the Noida police didn't inform the family members about the recovery as well as cremation of the corpse as unclaimed in-spite of his elder brother filing a missing person's complaint.

Thus, the court endorsing the victim family's protest petition requesting the case to be investigated by another competent CBI officer after the previous report concluded the death incident to be a normal validates the public outrage and agitations in the quest for justice.

The suspicion of possible foul play deepened as the relevant FIR was formally registered after nearly 22 months of death of the youngster.

Notwithstanding the belated move to probe the case, state's civil society organisations and his family believed that the special crime branch of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Lucknow will crack the murder case.

Consequent to lodging of the FIR to commence proper investigation, there were, however, doubts that even the reliable CBI might face difficulties in gathering crucial evidences that could unknot the mystery behind the youth's demise as the incident had happened nearly two years back and his mortal remains reduced to ashes.

From all perspectives, it meant that the investigation process will have to start from scratch with strong possibility of vital evidences either disappearing naturally or deliberately concealing by UP police that directly dealt with the case before the CBI came into the picture.

Reports that Pravish was taken to a hospital in an unconscious state by a doctor and the corpse cremated by UP police four days later without the mandated identification process were seen here in the state as an attempt to not only hush up the case but to cover up removal of his vital organs.

Organ trade, if any, as the likely cause of death weren't of much concern to the people of Manipur then but calfousness of the UP police in handling the case brought to the fore racial profiling and discrimination of the northeast denizens in mainland parts of India.

Then and now, fate and safety concerns of people from the northeast in Indian metros remain entirely dependent on sympathy of a few generous citizens.

That such apprehension is not without substance has been validated by the CBI court that expressed complete discontentment with the "shoddy investigation" done by UP police in the Pravish Chanam case.

Nevertheless, by ordering reinvestigation, the CBI court has rekindled fresh hope that justice might be finally delivered.



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