The Hyderabad police have lamented that important evidence pertaining to the twin blasts that took place on Thursday has been lost due to the visits of VIPs (ministers and politicians), accompanied by the media and the general public. The visitors tramped all over the ground that was littered with debris and possible evidence from the blast. The loss of such evidence is a blow to the investigations and is something that could have easily been avoided.
The primary fault is that of the police. It is shocking that at a time when forensic evidence is of paramount importance, the police did not seal off the blast scene as soon as they arrived on the spot. This is standard operating procedure in the West and it provides the police and prosecutors with valuable evidence that will enable the police to to not just identify the culprits but to lock them away in jail if caught.
Senior police officers at scenes of blasts should tell VIPs and the media to stay out. Unfortunately, too many police officers refuse to stand up to politicians and too many seek to curry favour with the media.
Let us recall that in the Arushi Talwar murder case, the police failed to cordon off the place where the body of Hemraj was found. In the process, important evidence was lost. Nearly five years later, the case remains wrapped in mystery.
It’s time we get the basics right. Crime scenes must be out of bounds to all visitors, VIPs or not.