Vigilantism by Hooligans

Sunday, 24 January 2021



Vigilantism by Hooligans

Swapnil Bharali | August 16, 2020 13:22 hrs

I was privy to a piece of CCTV footage that was captured around 9 pm on Friday last week. The footage was from a pharmacy located opposite Gauhati Commerce College where a gentleman had dropped in to buy some medicines on his way back home. 

The shocking images revealed that this gentleman had somehow, with reasons unbeknownst to him, provoked a large group of youngsters who happened to be travelling in an SUV. There were around 8 of them it seemed and the group included a young girl who happened to be the fieriest of them all.

The gentleman narrated that they were reeking of alcohol, abusive to the point of being ruffians, for no apparent reason heckled him in a vintage style of ‘dadagiri’ and finally snatched away his expensive phone. That they were captured on CCTV did not seem to be a matter of concern; it was almost like they enjoyed state patronage for the sheer outrage that they were.

An FIR was apparently lodged after the highest echelons of the city’s police force were contacted. Nothing moved although there was no further news about this hooliganism by these self-styled vigilantes through the rest of the week. Until of course Zubeen Garg was attacked late the other night by allegedly the some of the same drunken crooks who were freely roaming the nightly streets of Guwahati throwing their weight around on all who dared to cross their paths or who, in their perception, were provoking them.

This is not the nicest of situations in Guwahati. Firstly, curfew hours and lockdowns are to be adhered to by one and all and these need to be strictly enforced by the police department. Through the entire Unlock-2, people seemed to be at liberty to move freely during the night curfews that started at 6 pm making a mockery of the government’s attempts to combat the pandemic. On top of that are a bunch of seemingly wealthy and spoilt youngsters who have no issues about throwing all caution to the winds in their attempts to perhaps express themselves. That a revered artist like Zubeen Garg was targeted speaks volumes of the lack of security prevailing in the city after dark. 

The police commissionerate needs to address this issue at the earliest. Catching the rogue SUV should hardly be a problem. Beyond that, a fine example should be made of this unacceptable hooliganism.

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