Mob lynching is a term used to describe the acts of targeted violence by a large group of people against human body or property both public as well as private. In simpler word it can be said that mob lynching is an illegal activity done by crowd of people who turn aggressive towards an individual and even kill him just in the basis of assumption that he is a criminal and held him guilty without any trial.
The word lynching is a fact originated in United States in mid-18th century. Historians believe that planter Charles lynch used this term to describe the extra judicial authority presumed by the individuals. There indeed is no word for lynching in most Indian languages except in Bengali i.e ‘ganadholai’ probably because Kolkata for many years witnessed lynching in pick pockets.
The mob hate has turned uglier since 2014, it spilled onto the streets, trains and even houses of people. In the name of vigilantism, a mob just turned out to be violent under the influence of rumors spreading out fire on social networking sites like Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook and twitters which do not have any verification of the news. The youth of the country who must be holding books in their hands are wandering with phones on the roads and under influence of these unauthentic news on the sites they just take law in their hands and decides to do justice without any trial.
In Dhanbad district of Jharkhand, a man of about 50 years of age, accused of child lifting was killed by mob. Just three days before this incident six people three from Jharkhand and three from Uttar Pradesh were mercilessly beaten by separate mobs on the suspicion of being child lifters in Jharkhand’s Koderma district. On the same day, a man in his 40s was thrashed by yet another mob in Ramgarh district on the same suspicion.
Recently, on 19th July 2019, in eastern Bihar a mob beat to death three man suspected to steal cattle. Similarly, on 26th June 2019, Tabrez Ansari’s father, Maskoor Ansari was also killed by mob in a similar way, to his son, 15 years ago. On 27th July 2019, a juvenile of 14 years had been lynched by mob, he was caught committing theft in Ashok Nagar, Delhi. The reasons of these incidents range from allegations of beef consumption or transportation to the practice of with craft and child lifting.
Multiple cases of mob lynching have been registered in Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh. Several cases have been reported in south Indian states including Telangana, Kerala, Karnataka.
The number of deaths based on witch hunting is quite shocking in itself. A report 2,097 such murders were committed between 2000 and 2012 in at least 12 states. Caste atrocities against Dalits or lower caste people are often under reported. The purpose behind these displays of violence in public is of course to intimidate by way of setting an example for the people belonging to same caste. There were also lynching incidents which have occurred during to riots or have been instigating riots. These types of incidents are part of communal violence and rioting and so they must have been treated separately.
With time there is new category of violence which has emerged- bovine- related mob lynching deaths. This category has its own characteristics – the victims are largely Muslims, the proximate cause often based on rumors, built upon the prejudices against a community. It is also revealing that the proportion of this type of lynching among all cases of all mob violence has increased in last three years.
The report by India Spends reveals that a blatant 97% of all attacks centered on bovine issues between 2010 and 2017 were reported in last three years. When a glaring 61 of a total of 63 such cases are registered after the creation of cow protection squads and beef trade restrictions, it definitely signals that entirely new trend of mob violence in India, has gained ground under the current governing dispensation.
Vote bank politics is the one of the main reasons for increase in such incidents. Some political parties use violence as a tool of politics and thereby supporting these anti- social elements. Also, high rate of unemployment is another reason as youth of the country have sharp and productive brain but they are often misguided and brainwashed through various ideologies and agendas. The spread of the and fake news on social media platforms, failures of police as they are not able to track these people out and put them before courts and lack of proper laws on mob lynching accelerates the number of cases in mob lynching.
At present mob lynching cases are tried under section 300 of IPC that is murder, 302 which deals with punishment for murder, section 304(a) causing death by negligence, section 331 which involve cases of voluntarily causing grievous hurt and section 339 of IPC dealing with wrongful restraint. There is no specific law to deal with mob lynching.
In August 2019, the Rajasthan assembly passed an anti- lynching bill with the provisions for life imprisonment and a fine ranging from rupees 1 to 5 lakhs in cases of mob violence which leads to victim’s death. Similarly in June 2019 the State Law Commission of UP recommended jail terms ranging from seven years to life imprisonment for those convicted for mob lynching. The commission in its 128 pages report, cited various cases of mob lynching and recommended the immediate enactment of legislation as per recommendations of made by the supreme court in 2018. These prescriptions included steps like appointment of senior officer in each district to prevent mob lynching, identifying areas prone to mob lynching, cases shall be highlighted and duty of officer to disperse any mob which intends to cause violence and more like these.
Every time there is case of mob violence, honor killing, hate crimes we raise the demands for special litigation for them even if these all are crimes similar to what are mentioned CRPC and IPC. The major factor of focus is the implementation of the laws which are already prevailing but not efficiently utilized in real sense. The laws existing are enough to deal with the matters of mob lynching if the procedure is implemented properly.
Also, until and unless people themselves realize that no matter how severe the crime is no mob has the right to punish or kill the culprit. If they are truly vigilant then they must let the justice in the hands of law and not doing justice by themselves. If people do not trust their existing judicial system, then it is threat to the democracy of the country. Citizens need to understand that it is them who create a mob not the authorities not the government, in order to stop mob lynching they should have faith in the principle of natural justice and the judiciary.
Government should also give more attention to the cases of mob lynching and hate crimes as these are poisonous worms which are hollowing the roots of the country and will ultimately sabotage the entire judicial structure. The combined efforts of government and citizen can stop this obnoxious slur and put it to the end.
- Mob lynching- desecration of the rule of law, available at: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/legally-speaking/mob-lynching-a-desecration-of-the-rule-of-law/
- Lynching the scrounge of new India, available at: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/lynching-the-scourge-of-new-india/article29693818.ece
- Why do mob lynchings still continue unabated, available at: https://thewire.in/communalism/mob-cow-lynching-vigilante
- Mob Lynching: a rising threat, available at: http://www. legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-844-mob-lynching-a-rising-threat.html
- Mob Lynching in India: a look at data and story behind that numbers, available at : https://www.newslaundry.com/2017/07/04/mob-lynchings-in-india-a-look-at-data-and-the-story-behind-the-numbers
- Discuss various reasons for mob lynching in India, available at: https://blog.forumias.com/answered-discuss-various-reasons-for-rising-incidents-of-mob-lynching-in-india-give-some-solutions-to-prevent-such-incidents/
- State’s views sought on need for mob lynching law, available at: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/states-views-sought-on-need-for-mob-lynching-law/articleshow/72374556.cms?from=mdr
- Why do mob lynching still continue unabated, available at: https://thewire.in/communalism/mob-cow-lynching-vigilante
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