Friday, March 31, 2006

Cops gone wild

A disturbing little sidestory to the second one-day international, reported in the Guardian including this excerpt:

"Chaos reigned on the periphery too. A seven-year-old girl was reported to have been taken to hospital after falling foul of police wielding lathis (6ft-plus bamboo sticks) outside the stadium before the start of play. The Board of Control for Cricket in India perhaps should check the local methods of imposing law and order before staging games outside major cities."

and on Rediff, which included this note:

"Outside the stadium things were even worse. Spectators had a harrowing time winding their way through a sea of baton-wielding security personnel, who swung left, right and center, causing grievous injuries to at least a dozen youngsters. A badly-bruised boy, shirt soaked in blood, was refused help by a patrolling police van even as people begged to rush him to a nearby hospital."

And Prithviraj Hegde angrily blogs about it. Read this from his follow-up: "The young kid I spoke of in my last post is Vidhi Jain. She lies in the ICU of a Faridabad hospital. Her mother is also in hospital with a broken collar bone. They were caught in the middle of brutality that the Haryana police unleashed on people who paid huge amounts to watch a cricket match. I say let's not go to matches any more. Let the cops watch with the officials and the VIPs who manage get into air-conditioned boxes without problems or security checks. DON'T PAY TO GET CANED! IT'S ON TV ANYWAY".

Tell you what, maybe the BCCI should start spending some of those billions of dollars that they plan to get from television rights, t-shirt sales, licensing fees, DVD rights, and whatever other monetization scheme they come up with, on ensuring easy access to the grounds chosen for international games. Sigh, they make me weep. All these millions of dollars, and its not clear to me that too much of it is being spent on infrastructure.


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