March 20th, 2016
“On January 28, 2016, I attended the Bharat Parv event at Red Fort. When I was leaving the venue, at around 4PM, a little boy of 8 or 9 years approached me and held out a tattered note of some foreign currency, saying that a foreigner had given it to him and that he did not know what to do with the same.
I did not know which country’s currency it was. The text printed on it was not in English, though it had some letters from the alphabet. The bill was of 100 units of the currency. As I did not know any foreign currency exchangers in that locality, I decided to take some help from the internet.
The boy was growing restless and was continually asking, “Bhaiya Kitne Milenge Batao Na (Please tell me how much will I get)”. To calm him down I told him that he should get at least Rs. 1,000/- and kept looking for images of different currencies. Right at that time, one person came to me and asked, “Kya Hai Iske Paas (What does he have)?” And he was trying to get the boy to give over the note to him. From their conversation, I deciphered that before coming to me the child had sought this person’s opinion, but, being ignorant, he conceived that the note was worthless. But after having seen me taking an interest in the matter, he had come to inquire about it. Somehow, I managed to get rid of him.
Thenceforth, this man proceeded to some policemen who were sitting in a car parked nearby and told them something, following which they called the child and me. As soon as we walked up to them, one of them stepped out of the car and gripped the boy and I sensed their ill intentions and immediately took their photo. They took the note from the boy and shouted at him. He began crying and requested my intervention, “Dekho Na Bhaiya Paise Le Liya (See, he took away the money)”.
Moved by the boy’s tears, I requested the police official, “Uncle, Ise Wapas De Dijiye Na Paise. Ise Kisi Foreigner Ne Diye Hai (Uncle, please return him the money. Some foreigner has given it to him).” On learning this, he exclaimed, “Kya Be, Bare Photo Le Raha Tha Abhi (You were clicking pictures now, were you not?),” and asked his colleague, who was still sitting inside the car, to step out. Then, both of them set about abusing and threatening me. “Chal Phone Nikal (Take out your phone),” they said. By this time I could feel the adrenaline rushing in my bloodstream, my legs started trembling and I tried my best not to let this fear show on my face. I held back on saying that I had not got any pictures but they snatched the telephone from my hand. Then, I had no other option but to open my gallery and delete all the photos in front of them. After this, one of them said, “Thik Hai, Andar Baith. Ek Do Din Rakh Kar Tujhe Chhor Denge (Alright, sit inside the car. We will detain you for a day before letting you go)!” On hearing this, I requested them to let me go, but they screamed, “Are Chal Baith! Verification Wagarah Karna Hota Hai! Chalna Padega! (Sit inside. We require to record and verify everything. You have to go with us).”
Then, they asked me about my name, address and occupation. I showed them the Identity Card issued to me by my college, from which they noted down all the details. After some more pleading they roughed me up and shouted “Bhag, Bhag! Jaldi Bhag! (Hurry up! Run away)”. And I left the spot! I trust that they did not harm the boy after that.
After coming back home, I resumed my hunt for the photos of currencies of different countries and I believe (I am not sure), that the note the boy had shown me was 100 Swiss Francs, which implies that he could have got around Rs.6, 800/-.
I also managed to recover the images using a software.
There are many incidents of police atrocities like this everyday.”
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