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Evil becoming well mannered

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By Nury Vittachi

Here’s an idea for thoughtful people. Always carry around a large number of prosthetic limbs, so if you’re assassinated the guy who does the chalk outline will be able to create a fascinating piece of conceptual art. Of course, it’s obviously better if one doesn’t get knocked off, but it’s important to be considerate, right?

The fact is a steady growth of civility and politeness is seeping into the whole evil-doer/law-enforcer paradigm. I started thinking about this when a reader sent me a news cutting about cops raiding a suspected drug house in the US state of Illinois. During the 90-minute search for evidence, a regular stream of drug-buyers turned up at the front door with cash, and police had to post officers there to politely deflect them.

The actual conversations (repeated at least 10 times) were not recorded but must have gone something like this. “Here for illegal drugs?” “Yes, please!” “Terribly sorry, but we’re doing a major police raid here. Would you mind coming back later? Have a nice day.”

The report reminded me of a robbery in Malaysia some years ago. Armed villains took over a 7-Eleven store to steal stuff from the stock room. To buy themselves time, some gang members put on staff coats and served customers who came in. Afterwards, witnesses told investigators that the only suspicious thing was that shop staff were more courteous and attentive than normal.

That tale in turn reminded one of my colleagues about a thief who went into a McDonald’s in Sydney and demanded cash from the till. The quick-thinking manager said: “Sorry, we can’t open the till unless you buy something.” The robber checked his pockets to see if he had enough cash to buy the cheapest thing on the menu. He didn’t. Again the exact words of the exchange were not recorded, but must have been on these lines: “Sorry, bit short of cash today, I’ll come back another time.” “Sure, don’t be a stranger.”

Now of course committing robberies is still illegal whether you’re polite or not, right? Maybe not. Your columnist asked a lawyer who said that a bank robber in the US last summer tried to use his civility as a legal defense. He argued that since he had waited in line, asked for the cash politely, and used the terms “please” and “I would appreciate it” on the note he handed over, the demand should be seen as a friendly request and the money handed over seen as a gift. The defense failed, but I do think he should have won some sort of award for Largest Public Display of Chutzpah.

The same goes for the prisoner from the famous lock-up at Guantanamo Bay who posted his profile on a big dating websites, describing himself as “detained but ready to mingle”. He had been locked away for eight years, so “ready” was probably a bit of an understatement. But then “half-crazed with desperation” might have come across as needy.

Always better to play it cool. Unless you work at a certain 7-Eleven, where it might make folk suspicious.

(IANS)(image-ci.rockford.il.us)

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Lockdown: Bengluru Police to Return all Seized Vehicles

The decision has been approved by Chied Minister and Home Minister

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The City police will return all 6,852 vehicles . Pixabay

City police will start returning more than 6,852 vehicles seized during Covid lockdown from Friday onwards, a top police official said on Thursday.

“It has been decided to return the Corona seized vehicles from May 1 (Friday) onwards. Those seized first will be returned first,” tweeted Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao.

Rao said the move has been approved by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

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“The documents will be verified and vehicles will be returned. This has approval of chief minister and home minister. We are doing the paperwork to ease the process,” said Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao. (Representational Image).Pixabay

“The documents will be verified and vehicles will be returned. This has approval of chief minister and home minister. We are doing the paperwork to ease the process,” he said.

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Almost a month ago on April 1, police had already seized 6,852 vehicles, comprising 6,321 two-wheelers, 227 three-wheelers and 304 four-wheelers.

Rao did not reveal how many more vehicles were seized in the last 30 days. (IANS)

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Police in Spain Distributes Masks to Commuters

Police in Spain Hand Out Millions of Masks to Commuters

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A member of Civil Protection gives out free protective face masks outside a food store during a lockdown amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Ronda, southern Spain. VOA

Police in Spain handed out millions of masks to commuters Monday as the country started to ease its tough coronavirus lockdown, allowing some businesses to reopen.

Construction and manufacturing businesses were allowed to reopen, while retail businesses remained closed and office workers were encouraged to keep doing their jobs from home.

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Commuters wearing face masks to protect against coronavirus at Atocha train station in Madrid, Spain. VOA

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Transportation officials said that they were limiting the number of riders on trains and buses and passengers were spaced one meter apart.

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Spain’s Health Ministry reports, as of Monday, the cumulative death toll from the coronavirus rose to 17,489, up 517 from 16,972 on Sunday. Total confirmed cases reached 169,496, up from 166,019 the previous day. (VOA)

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Respect Police as they are ‘Friends not Enemy’: Union Home Minister Amit Shah

Respect police, they are not enemy appeals Amit Shah

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Amit Shah
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday appealed to the people to respect policemen as they were "friends and not enemy". Wikimedia Commons

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday appealed to the people to respect policemen as they were “friends and not enemy”, telling the force to handle violent situations calmly by remembering the advice of independent India’s first Deputy Prime Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Speaking at the 73rd Raising Day of Delhi Police, the Minister said that police ensures peace and security in the country without religion and caste considerations. Hence, he said, police needs to be respected.

“It (police) helps when needed. It is not an enemy of anyone. It is a friend in maintaining peace and tranquility. So it should be respected. I appeal to the people that those who criticise the police should be heard. There is no problem in it. But, we should not overlook the fact that over 35,000 policemen have sacrificed their lives in protecting the country since Independence,” Shah said.

He said that while people enjoy every festival during the year, a policeman’s festival is to ensure public security. Policemen are always on duty without taking any offs on festivals like Holi, Diwali and Eid, he said.

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Amit Shah mentioned about late Delhi Police Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma who lost his life in the September 19, 2008 Batla House encounter with terrorists. Wikimedia Commons

Since 1991, Shah said, 30 Delhi policemen have died in the line of duty. He recalled the sacrifices of five Delhi Police Constables who lost their lives while protecting Parliament during a terror attack there on December 13, 2001.

He also mentioned late Delhi Police Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma who lost his life in the September 19, 2008 Batla House encounter with terrorists. Sharma was awarded the highest peace-time gallantry medal, Ashok Chakra, on January 26, 2009.

Pointing out that the Delhi Police was established by Sardar Patel, the Minister said that the force had managed to fulfil the expectation of the great leader who wanted it to be calm while dealing with provocative incidents and also ensure protection to the citizens from hooligans.

“Because of Delhi Police’s alertness, the capital city is able to organise several big events,” Shah said, adding that the force is now among the best police forces in the world.

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Stressing on women security, Shah said that the Home Ministry has approved 9,300 CCTVs for Delhi Police for women security. The Centre has also provided 4,500 four-wheelers and 1,600 motorcycles to the force in different phases.

“I hope these facilities will improve Delhi Police efficiency to enable the force to ensure better security in the national capital.” (IANS)