Yesterday, I read about the following incident reported in newspapers: Hannah Foster, a British citizen was raped and killed by Maninder Pal Singh Kohli who later fled to India and hid somewhere. After months of inaction, Trevor and Hillary Foster, parents of the unfortunate victim, came to India to appeal to the press etc to help in the search for their daughter's killer. And as luck would have it, the criminal was found even before they had returned back to England. The Punjab Chief Minister who was earlier slated to meet with the Fosters to discuss the manhunt has now promised his full cooperation in the extradition process.
On reading the report at first, I felt happy for the family. I still feel happy for the family, but now I also feel troubled by a number of questions that haunt my mind:
- Had a UK citizen (or any Western country) been guilty of a crime against an Indian, would the UK embassy have even issued a visa to the distraught parents? I have my doubts!
- Had he been nabbed, would the UK citizen have been extradited to face charges in a third world country? Given the qualms Western countries have in extraditing far more culpable offenders and terrorists, people who aren't even their own citizens, I am sure the answer to this question has to be a 'no' as well!
- Would the Chief Minister of Punjab have granted a personal meeting to an Indian couple trying to find justice for their deceased daughter? Of course not!
The answer to each one of the above questions is 'no'! And it is this realization that we still bend our backs to please our erstwhile colonial masters that leaves me saddened!