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Readers tell us if bystanders were as guilty as molesters caught on CCTV in Bangalore

DailyBite
DailyBiteJan 05, 2017 | 13:24

Readers tell us if bystanders were as guilty as molesters caught on CCTV in Bangalore

The sickening CCTV footage of a Bangalore woman putting up a lonely fight against her molesters while a few bystanders silently watched the bikers violating her raises one pertinent question — are the bystanders not guilty of anything?

They may not have incited the crime in the first place but is it not natural for us as human beings to react, rather than silently watch a crime happening? What surprised many was the listlessness with which they kept watching and quietly leaving once the assailants fled the scene. No one came to the woman’s rescue even after the crime. Well, they didn't want to get involved? They feared for their own safety?

The debate over the moral guilt of bystanders is not new and has had stimulated arguments in the past when "innocent" bystanders watched aghast criminals committing violent crimes, including murders, in full public glare.

But what is disturbing is the apathy and the "it's-not-my-business" attitude. If it's not your business, then why did you stand through the crime? The fact that any incident was enough to attract your attention and stopped you from going about your business itself means that it demanded some action. But merely waiting and watching? Does that not amount to complicity?

Yes, it's the job of the law enforcement agencies to prevent a crime from taking place and offer help to victims, but what about the citizens? Are rights and duties not interrelated? Can we really absolve ourselves of our responsibilities?

When we opened the debate to our readers they too felt that by simply standing and watching a crime can embolden the criminals to an extent to commit more such crimes in future. However, some still believe the onus lies mainly on the victim to prevent such crimes from happening.

Here’s what they said:

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DailyO readers weigh in

G Pavlos: You see, it's tough to establish that. Ultimately, it's the police who should be held guilty in this case because they did not take preventive measures. Compare the police ineptitude with that of their counterparts in Chennai and the way they managed the situation immediately after the demise of former chief minister J. Jayalalithaa. Not a single incident of rioting/arson was reported in Chennai city or anywhere in Tamil Nadu. That's because the police force and its leadership rose to the occasion.

RS Lalithaa: What can be more sad than this? If someone could watch and not do anything even after the attackers left… it’s nothing but a sad commentary on the mindset of Indians. It’s a collective shame.

Ripun: This will only encourage the criminals to do more such crimes. They know no one will stop them.

Vijay Cliff: Just look at the time madam got down from the auto. She could have taken the auto till her gate or should have asked someone to escort her. When we talk about your safety, you girls will talk about freedom. Now who is suffering because of all this? Until girls realise our culture and limits nothing will stop incidents like this. Because the world is filled with both good and bad people. These perverts should be punished, but at the same time you should not give them a chance.

Nijara Vin: Bystanders guilt? Is India safe enough for bystanders? Look at the way police treat those who help victims of accidents and murders. They threat the innocents like criminals. This is he main reason why people are scared to help their fellow citizens.

Last updated: January 05, 2017 | 13:24
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