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January 17, 2021

City Diary: Surge of violence among youth getting uncontrollable


January 17, 2021

Islamabad : Recently we have witnessed a surge of a strange kind of violence in society involving young people inspired by various video games and Apps available on smart phones or internet.

Its mind boggling to read, watch and listen to the kind of crimes, especially against young girls and boys, which ended in extreme violence, killing. And that too after perpetrating worst form of sexual and physical abuse.

Every time such an incident occurs, there are cries of anguish and demands for handing out ‘exemplary punishment’, meaning death sentence to be the least.

Rhetorical statements are issued by the rulers or their spokespersons of not sparing the criminals.

The police jumps up and, if the incident has occurred in Punjab, as unfortunately most of the time this happens, the traditional ‘Colonial Policing’ tactics of investigations are employed.

Dozens and dozens of suspects are rounded up. All those who believe that they could be held as a ‘suspect’ flee from their homes to other districts and even out of the province. Leaving their next of kin at the mercy of Punjab Police, which still in this age strictly believe in ‘third degree’ form of interrogation.

After some time the police announces having succeeded in nabbing the culprit. The police also claim that he or they have also confessed to the crime. They are paraded before media with their heads covered to hide their identity.

Now, this is intriguing why they hide their faces! The media is free to show the faces of victims and their families but they are barred from showing the faces of the criminals who have perpetrated the most heinous crimes! One wonders why?


But when these criminals are presented before the court of law, most of them cry foul, back out of their confessional statements and claim that they have confessed because of the police torture. And a never ending legal process starts. With the passage of time dust settles on these cases and people forget.

But what one feels is that we have become enmeshed in happening of such unfortunate incidents and what happens thereafter.

We wonder as to how many people or institutions are actually engaged in finding out the reasons and motives behind the surge of this type of crimes?

It is widely believed that the video games and Apps full of violence and outrageous materials as well as social media have been a major instigating component behind changing this social behavior of youth.

There are a number of such games and Apps which have gripped the minds of youth, especially young children. And during the times of COVID-19 the youth have been away from educational and physical sporting activities for too long now.

In these conditions the smart phones and internet have become a major source of entertainment for youth as well as all those who have been sent into isolation because of the pandemic.

In this situation would it not be wise for the government or the concerned institutions to immediately form a Board to start monitoring such Apps and sites on internet which are accessible to people, especially young children, which could damage them psychologically and lead to changing their social behavior.

And once identified, which we believe should not be such a difficult task, such Apps and internet sites should immediately be blocked.

For the purpose the government should engage a group of Psychologists, Psychiatrists and social scientists to lead a campaign on war footings to arrest this deterioration in society and take some pragmatic measures to save our youth, especially our children.