Taking a cue from the west, Indian sleuths could do with visionary inputs

All too often, even top-level inquiries into serious crimes here come to nought for want of evidence, with no leads, no witnesses.

ET Spotlight
All too often, even top-level inquiries into serious crimes here come to nought for want of evidence, with no leads, no witnesses, no discernible motives and, above all, poor forensic backup.

On the other hand, the most successful police and crime serials in the west seem to indicate that wrongdoers there are invariably caught thanks to the bewildering array of state-of-the-art devices that make Sherlock Holmsian cerebral sleuthing almost redundant.

With the general kerfuffle over expensive acquisitions and a move towards austerity, Indian investigating agencies can forget about importing such equipment any time soon, but salvation may lie in the secret weapon revealed by the latest crop of western crime serials: clairvoyant detectives.

Law enforcement officials who are psychic or read minds or have erratic but revealing flashbacks — all of which hasten the capture of bad guys — are increasingly the central figures of new TV crime serials with old-fashioned investigators offering support functions such as raids, forensic results and background checks.

Though there is no proof of individuals with extrasensory perceptions (ESP) leading the charge or getting crucial breakthroughs in investigations, US documentaries of actual solved crimes do occasionally have detectives admitting to helpful, if unconventional, inputs from ‘gifted’ people.

As India has no dearth of seers and astrologers who claim extraordinary powers and yet police investigators are often left floundering for leads, a visionary synergy should be worth a try.
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With rupee falling against the dollar, home-grown ESP practitioners — hired on a case-by-case basis — would probably be cheaper and less controversial than importing the latest technological tools anyway.
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