Why we’re scared to get involved
February 1st, 2008 by Shakir Lakhani

The woman thought it was a mouse that was making the strange noise. It was two in the night, so she went out of the room and was shocked to see three men calmly sitting at the dining table and eating what was left of the dinner. She was about to scream when one of them pointed a pistol at her. They finished eating, then one of them said, “We need two million right away, we know you’ve got it, so bring it here in a bag.” So she took all the money and prize bonds in the house and gave it to them. They counted it, and then the leader shook his head. “Eight hundred thousand short. We’ll take this kid with us,” he said, pointing to her youngest son. “Wait!” she gasped. “I think there’s something in the bedroom.” She went in, picked up the phone, and dialed her father’s number. In a low voice, she told him about the robbers, and asked him to bring the cops. Her father, an industrialist who lived a few houses away, came in two minutes with his four private guards. When the robbers saw they were cornered, they went to the roof and tried to escape. Two were caught, while one managed to escape. The police was called, and when the SHO saw the robbers, he cursed his men. “You s.o.b.’s!” he yelled. “Why didn’t you kill these bastards there and then? Now some influential guy is sure to call and ask me to let them go!”
The First Information Report (FIR) was registered, and to the surprise of all, the crooks were residents of a “katchi abadi” (slum) nearby. It didn’t take them long to be freed on bail, and when the case came before the judge, the woman and her father said that the men in the dock were not the robbers.
They knew that if they had told the truth, the robbers (after serving their sentences) would have killed them all. And that is why ordinary folks are too scared to get involved.