A trifling matter turns bloody
THE news of fifty villagers including three policemen being injured in violent clashes over a trivial matter is an indicator of a disturbing trend. Small arguments turn into battles with mobs appearing, ready with sharp weapons, to pounce upon their perceived enemies.
Law enforcers are either too few, too ineffectual or just plain absent during these outbursts of violence that escalate and paralyse the roads.
In this particular case two residents of two villages got into an altercation over CNG fare. Their relatives, ready with machetes and sharp spears got involved and full blown brawl was underway. Then others joined in and the police could not control the situation despite using teargas and rubber bullets.
While the tiff between the two villagers should have been manageable with the help of others on the scene, it is hard to understand why their relatives would be so ready with sharp weapons, to take the scuffle to such violent levels. Witnesses have said that clashes between the two villages are quite common. It always degenerates into a clannish war.
Add to that the fact that most of those in the mob took advantage of the gridlock created by the brawl that blocked four highways, to loot all those passengers stranded in the buses for more than two hours.
All this indicates another brewing problem -- lawlessness in these areas where the police have very little presence, far less control over such volatile situations. They shy away from such a situation lest they are blamed for taking sides.
Obviously the authorities have to have more law enforcers patrolling these areas where large number of people gather and where crime is easily facilitated. Community police could also be a good addition to the regular forces. Strong and efficient policing is crucial to stop this terrible trend.