Back to Square One

This incident occurred few years back. It was some days after the mumbai train serial blasts. I was travelling back home from a particular station on harbour line, and since there was enough time for the train to arrive I decided to sit down on a bench. I saw one man and a big bag next to him and when I approached him with a request to move his bag to make space for me, I was shocked by his response. He said that he didn’t know whose bag it was. This person has been sitting near an unidentified, unclaimed object without any fear for his life, and this just a couple of days after the serial blasts. It was not worth arguing with this person so I approached a constable posted at that platform. The constable came along with me to review the situation. And gave me another shock, second within the span of 2 minutes. Without following any proper precautionary measures, he just opened the bag to check the belongings. I immediately moved at a safe distance, since I was young and wanted to live a longer life.

It turned out to be a bag full of books, belonging to a school boy, who came running from the railway canteen after seeing a policeman fiddling with his his bag. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

But what about the responsibilities of the citizen? Aren’t they supposed to inform about unclaimed suspicious objects? What about the procedures? Wasn’t the policeman not supposed to touch it as he was not equipped to handle the situation?

It seems that we have a habit of getting back to square one. Don’t blame the terrorist for another attack/blast. Its their job, a profession that they have taken up. It for us citizens to be cautious.

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