mid-day editorial: Don't cop out when someone needs help

By  mid-day correspondent | Mumbai | Posted  13-May-2017

Good Samaritans trying to help an injured biker bleeding on the road were taken aback when constables on the spot not only refused to help them but, in fact, actively tried to prevent them from rescuing the victim.

The 26-year-old biker had broken his leg after a BEST bus knocked him down while he was distracted by the posse of traffic policemen waiting to catch helmet-less motorists. Even as he was bleeding profusely, cops just stood by, waiting for the police van to arrive. When locals tried to take him to hospital, one of the do-gooders received a slap from a cop. The locals stood their ground and insisted on helping the victim, though they lost precious time arguing with the police. One can guess that the victim's life was at stake, with the amount of blood he had lost on the road.

Whatever the cops' reasons - even if this was a police case and they wanted to wait for official help - it does not take great deduction to realise that time was of the essence over here. Instead of fighting with the public and wasting time, the cops should have at least used their power to stop public transport so that vehicles could take the victim to the hospital.

The questions and finger-pointing could have come later. As traffic cops, they must and should have had some knowledge of how to administer first aid to accident victims, or at the very least realised that saving time was imperative.

Mumbaikars are often accused of being heartless, more concerned about avoiding red tape than about helping someone in distress. Is it any wonder, going by this case? Make the path easier for those who shake off their apathy and want to do good for the city and its people. That way, you send a positive message of maximum compassion to the people of Maximum City.