The two-para news item dryly said that a young IT professional, who had been mistakenly picked up, had been released after 50 days behind bars
Ketan Tanna | TNN
Mumbai: The case of Bangalore-based techie Lakshmana Kailash K, who spent 50 days in jail because of the twin bungling of Bharti Airtel and the Pune police, is getting curiouser and curiouser. After the TOI report (November 3), Bharti called up Lakshmana and offered an explanation for providing the erroneous IP (Internet Protocol) address on the basis on which the police charged him with posting a defamatory picture of Chhatrapati Shivaji: the mix-up happened because they were not sure whether it was AM or PM while tracing the IP address.
Lakshmana and his family are more amused than angry that at the â€œlame explanationâ€™â€™. â€œItâ€™s not as if we are dealing with a small company with 10 employees. Itâ€™s Bharti, one of the largest telecom companies. I work in a company which has five levels to cross-check facts. I wonder how a company can simply say that an employee made a mistake and that the mistake was not discovered within the company itself,â€™â€™ says Lakshmana.
The Maharashtra State Human Rights Committee is in the process of issuing notices to the state government and officers of the law enforcement agencies.
For now, Lakshmana is back with parents at Tirunaveli in Tamil Nadu and is doing the rounds of the local temples. Earlier this week, he went to the Melmaruvathur Temple to ask â€œfor strength to deal with any situation in lifeâ€™â€™. His parents are hugely relieved that he is back with them after his 50-day ordeal in Yerawada jail. His recently married elder brother has also joined the family to make this Diwali a special family affair.
â€œMy parents are old and they were so worried when I was in jail. But now that I am back with them they are telling me to face life bravely,â€™â€™ says the 26-year-old techie. â€œWhen I was behind bars, I was trapped in such a situation that nobody could help me. Not my parents, not my brother (though he was trying his level best outside). Even the judge had to rely on what the police were telling him. I would not wish such a situation on my worst enemy.â€™â€™
Laskhmanaâ€™s case has provoked an animated debate on leading IT websites like CNET and Recorder. India had come in for a fair amount of criticism considering that it is known for software talent and IT brains. However, unlike the dominant western viewpoint for absolute freedom of speech, Lakshmana says â€œthe right to freedom of speech cannot be unlimitedâ€™â€™. â€œIn the context of the world that we live in, freedom of speech also means that we have to act and behave with responsibility,â€™â€™ he says.