Intolerance in Jammu City

Nipun Basotra
Jammu city, once known for its tranquility and cultural vibrancy, is now increasingly marred by crime, anarchy, and intolerance. A recent, alarming incident illustrates the gravity of the situation. A 26-year-old journalist, who wishes to remain anonymous, was harassed and narrowly escaped an attempt on his life by an intoxicated man in his 40s. The young man was merely waiting in his parked car for a friend when the incident occurred. The assailant, filled with unprovoked rage and frustration, approached and began hitting the car and harassed him. Despite the victim’s attempts to calm the situation, the aggressor’s behavior escalated dangerously.
The assailant, driving a metallic grey Hyundai Grand i10, was accompanied by another man wearing spectacles, who did nothing to mitigate the violent outburst. As the situation worsened, the assailant attempted to physically assault the young man. Realizing the imminent threat to his life, the victim, already injured from a previous surgery on his leg, tried to drive away to save himself. However, the attacker pursued him towards his home, creating a high-stakes chase that could have ended in tragedy. The attacker hit the victim brutally right in front his home, while victim was trying to enter his own house. The T-shirt worn by the victim was torn apart and his right hand was injured during the encounter. Regardless, the victim managed to escape successfully, saving himself. This incident happened in Shastri Nagar area, one of the prominent parts of Jammu city. The incident occurred around 10:00 PM, a time when most parts of the city are deserted, making it an ideal opportunity for these criminals.
Reflecting on the harrowing experience, the victim recounted, “He was a man in his 40s with a full beard, driving a metallic grey colored Grand i10. Only if I saw the number plate, I could’ve registered a complaint against him. There was another man wearing spectacles riding in his car, and he did nothing to pacify his friend’s anger and unlawful behavior. Many of my friends too have been recently facing similar situations, and nothing is being done for it. Moreover, the once seen PCR Police vans are nowhere to be found these days especially when they are needed the most. This is an outrageous condition. The police must do something.” The victim, who is a journalist has been vocal about a lot of issues in the community and the country. He fears that the attack might be politically motivated as has he has been questioning and criticizing the political party in power through his Instagram handles.
A City in Crisis
This incident is not isolated but indicative of a broader trend of escalating violence and lawlessness in Jammu. The city has seen a significant rise in crime rates, with numerous reports of harassment, assault, and even attempted murders becoming distressingly common. Residents now live in a state of constant fear, wary of stepping out or engaging in everyday activities that might attract unwanted attention.
The absence of adequate police presence, particularly the once-ubiquitous PCR (Police Control Room) vans, has exacerbated the situation. These patrols were a visible deterrent to crime and provided a sense of security to the residents. Their noticeable absence has left a void that criminals are increasingly exploiting. The failure to maintain a robust and responsive police presence has contributed significantly to the current state of anarchy.
The Systemic Failures
One of the most troubling aspects of this incident is the inability to register an FIR (First Information Report) due to insufficient details, such as the assailant’s car number. This loophole in the legal system allows many perpetrators to evade justice, emboldening them to continue their unlawful activities without fear of repercussions. The legal and administrative framework needs urgent reform to address these gaps and ensure that justice is not hindered by technicalities.
The lack of accountability and swift action from law enforcement agencies has led to growing frustration and helplessness among the residents. The current state of affairs demands immediate attention and intervention from both local and higher authorities. Strengthening the police force, improving surveillance, and ensuring prompt and stringent punishment for offenders are critical steps towards restoring law and order in Jammu.
The Psychological and Social Impact
The increasing crime and violence in Jammu have profound psychological and social impacts on its residents. The constant fear of harassment and assault leads to anxiety and stress, affecting their daily lives and mental well-being. The social fabric of the city is also under strain as trust and community bonds weaken in the face of rising intolerance and lawlessness. People are reluctant to help others or intervene in conflicts due to the fear of becoming targets themselves.
This atmosphere of fear and distrust hampers the city’s growth and development. Businesses suffer as customers and employees feel unsafe, and social activities decline as people avoid public spaces. The cumulative effect is a city that is not only unsafe but also stunted in its potential to thrive.
The Path Forward
To address the escalating crisis, a multifaceted approach is needed. First and foremost, the police must increase their visibility and responsiveness. Reinstating and enhancing the PCR van patrols can provide immediate relief and deter potential criminals. Additionally, there should be a concerted effort to reform the legal framework to close loopholes that allow perpetrators to escape accountability. Simplifying the process of lodging FIRs and ensuring that even minimal information can trigger a thorough investigation would be a significant step forward.
Public awareness campaigns are also essential. Educating residents about their rights and the importance of reporting crimes can empower them to stand against the rising tide of violence. Community policing initiatives, where residents collaborate with local law enforcement, can help build trust and foster a collective effort towards safety and security.
Furthermore, addressing underlying social issues such as unemployment, substance abuse, and social frustration is crucial. Providing better job opportunities, mental health support, and recreational facilities can reduce the factors that contribute to criminal behavior. Engaging with community leaders, NGOs, and social workers to implement these initiatives can create a more
Jammu city is at a critical juncture. The rising crime, anarchy, and intolerance are not just challenges but cries for help from a city that once prided itself on its cultural richness and communal harmony. The recent incident involving the 26-year-old man is a stark reminder of the urgency with which these issues need to be addressed. It is imperative for the authorities, community leaders, and residents to come together to reclaim their city from the clutches of violence and lawlessness. Only through collective effort and determined action can Jammu once again become a safe and welcoming place to live.

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