In India, anarchists and political parties (which are more like vandal parties) have had a greater liking for defacing and destroying public property to show their disagreement to something.
In India, it seems it’s very easy to target public property and hen get away very easily. There are not heavy fines or stricter actions against the vandals or a longer jail period or even a stiffer bail application. It is more likely that the people involved in any such vandalism incident will walk freely after a week or two, ready to attack some other place.
Everyone in this country, has been targeting railways, buses, cars, shops, parks, multiplexes, roads, telecom and what not. Let there be even a letter box, and they will make sure that it is razed. I guess, what we need is more stricter laws which include heavy monetary fines. Monetary fines are the best way to tackle these vandals. Getting in jail and then walking away does not do any bad to them, but as I guess, maybe only good. They may be showing the jail terms on their resume to their political bosses in want of more challenging tasks. Nevertheless, when they will be asked to pay a hefty sum on their next vandal act, they will feel the pinch. The police should be using Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984 book the vandals, which is far more stricter than the IPC, 1860 which they use.
The government should come up with amendments to Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984 so that there are clear and mandatory provision for monetary fines, ranging not less than 5000 and going to a definite sum depending on the severity of the action of those caught. At least, the police and the law should make sure that those caught red-handed will have to pay the fine upfront before getting any bail. This will, I am sure, deter people who have nothing to do other than waiting a call from their political boss to attack something. I guess the political bosses will not like to pay up the fine themselves as this will for sure mean that they have to have own the incident.
An altogether different thing, which the law or amendment can bring in, is some sort of public service. Most of the countries have a provision of hefty fines and mandatory public service. how nice it would be, if the police, apart from collecting a hefty fine, asks those caught, to work with the municipal corporations Anti encroachment drive. This will be a win for all, as the people, I assume love destroying something and they will have their free hand and what’s an icing on the cake than being the police protecting you while you’re razing some structures 🙂
India needs a major overhaul of this law to deter vandals and protect public property.