Thursday, June 26, 2014
India: A three-year-old Indian girl has been arrested for armed robbery and disturbing the peace after feuding neighbors filed a malicious complaint, police said
The girl, who has been identified only by her nickname Guddi, was at home with her family when police arrived in force to arrest her. Her family believe that the officers had been sent by local leaders of Uttar Pradesh’s ruling Samajwadi Party, who are locked in a feud with other people in their village near Jhansi. When they arrived they demanded that the "suspect" be brought out for questioning and became increasingly forceful as the family tried to persuade them that there had been a mistake. When the officers insisted and the parents presented their three-year-old infant, the police realized that they been given false information. According to her parents, the attempt to incarcerate her was not the first time that she had been accused of armed robbery – charges had been registered a year earlier when she was two years old. The family had then been so alarmed by the case that they considered fleeing their village but it took two months to persuade the police to drop the charges. Her latest arrest was condemned by the district magistrate, who said that he had ordered the police to withdraw the charges and hold an inquiry into why they had registered an implausible case against an infant girl. Prashant Kumar, the deputy inspector general of police, said that the complaint had been made by the family’s neighbors with whom they had been involved in a long feud. “Two families in the neighbourhood are involved in petty fights and have filed police complaints against each other... Both the families are poor and work as daily wage labourers. Most of the fights were started when their men were out to work and the women indulged in verbal fights and at times fist fights”, he said.