Book review: Murder in the Bylanes

Authors: Aloke Lal and Maanas Lal

The book chronicles former DIG Aloke Lal’s journey when posted in a communally tumulous Kanpur in the backdrop of the Babri Masjid demolition (1992). The then largest state Uttar Pradesh was on tenterhooks in every way where a sudden disturbance could create unfathomable ripples throughout the law and order circles. Not to mention the state was a political hot potato.

The Author recounts the horrific times when he had to face the city on the brink of riots. All this after the gruesome murder of a prominent local political muscle, ‘Kala Bachcha’ 

What followed was the dance of political aspirations amongst the parties and later between the ruling party and the opposition. It was a Herculean task for the Author to handle the sensitive balance between the two religious factions.

The author takes us through a heart-wrenching sojourn of a demoralized police force in the aftermath of violence and political pressures. The book speaks volumes about how the force was forced to be a bystander watching the criminals unravel the political and law and order pictures in the localities they controlled.

The Author had to sacrifice a lot at a personal level to stick to his virtues and convictions. he sums it all in the statement towards the end, “An inescapable reality of a busy job is being deprived of life’s greatest pleasure- spending time with loved ones” 


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