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Mob Lynching: Tainting the Democracy

In the past decades, India has experienced several painful and poignant incidents of Honour Killing, Religious Riots, Kidnapping, Murder etc. But, some recent and very famous incidents of Mob-Lynching has throbbed the Pillars of our Democracy and also has raised a big question on the Local Police and Governmental Authorities.

The word Lynching hugely originated from the Era of American Revolution which widely has a taste of dictatorship and despotism. ‘Lynching’ means administering justice without any legal process or legal sanction , which even involves harassment and conscious killing of an individual by a group of persons.

The one very basic question which usually raises in the mind of every rationale citizen is that:
  1. How Mob-Lynching Occurs? and
  2. How to Prevent it?

The Official Studies of various Scholars and Experts of Human Right reveals the following reasons for an increment in the Crimes of Mob-Lynching during the past decade:

  • Absence of a Statute preventing Mob-Lynching- The experts are of the view that our present legal structure doesn’t have any effective or particular statute or a strict law preventing the Crime of Mob- Lynching and even the Provisions of Indian Penal Code, 1860 doesn’t clearly specifies any punishments for the offenders of this crime.
  • Fake Rumours and Mis-use of Social Media- Since 2011, with the growing sphere of technological and innovative advancement in India, Social Media (Whatsapp, Facebook) was used as tool by some group of individuals for sparking the Crime of Mob-Lynching. As-per the records of Home Ministry of India there were 54,723 cases of Child Kidnapping in 2016, and 41,893 cases in 2015 among which in the Maximum cases, social media was used as medium by the offenders to identify and execute the crime.
  • In-efficient Policing and Enforcement of Law- The Recent Studies and Various Reliable Sources reveals that FIR in such sensitive matters was registered by the Police Authorities only in the 60 % of the total Cases of Mob-Lynching, Honour Killing, Kid-napping,etc. occurred in year 2018 including mainly the states of Jharkhand, West Bengal, Tamilnadu, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, etc. rest all 40% of cases remained un- registered and un-actioned.

Present Scenario in India:

As-per the official records of National Human Rights Commission, from year 2016-2019 more than 2000 cases are registered against the harassment by the minorities and which included the crime of lynching also at large. Around 869 cases were only from the state of Uttar Pradesh which is the most populous and sensitive state of India.

It can be seen that some states like Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Jharkhand after experiencing the severe adversities of horrendous crime of mobocracy, has taken some critical and crucial steps for curbing the crime of mobocracy, Madhya Pradesh has introduced the Bill for Prevention of Mob Lynching, 2019 in the State Legislature which is still in a legislative procedure, , and in process to be enacted, whereas Rajasthan State Legislature has also passed an Anti-Lynching Bill, 2019 with the provisions of Life Imprisonment and fines upto Rs. 1-1.5 Lacks for those who were held convicted for the crime of mob-lynching , on the other hand Uttar Pradesh State Law Commission in July 2019 also defined the Jail Terms for Seven Years for those who were found guilty of the crime of lynching.

But, we cannot observe any serious measures of steps taken by the present Union Government, which may prove effective and efficient in restraining the crime of mob lynching on a mass and big scale. This can be seen as a big challenge and is a matter of public interest and should be ratified by the responsible authorities or persons with an immediate and curative effect so as to ensure law and order in the society and also to act in furtherance of justice and equity.

It has been widely observed that with the growing sphere of Digitalization in India Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter are hugely used as medium by the offenders and criminals for executing the crime of Mob-Lynching. As-per the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of India there are 20 Crores officially recorded Whatsapp users in India, and in comparison to the same the execution of Cyber Law and Information and Technology Act, 2000 in order to control the crime and ensure productive use of the same is a bit loose and weak, which needs to be addressed and improved at large.

International Scenario:

Apart from India, Crime of Mob-Lynching is also an International Issue, International Scenario in that regard is as follows:

  • United States of America:

    The most powerful country in the World is also not untouched with the Crime of Mob-Lynching. According to the Equity Justice Initiative’s Report, During the period of Civil War and World War II i.e. from 1880-1940, the Crime of Mob-Lynching was on it’s peak in America and thousands of Black Africans were killed mercilessly due to the racial and territorial conflicts. The report reveals that the impact of Terror Lynching can still be seen in the society.

    The condition of African Americans in aspects of their development, economic and educational prosperity is still miserable. The matter of fact is that the issue was never addressed adequately by the concerned American Authorities and have contaminated the integrity and transparency of the Justice System. The racial slavery which is also a result of the lynching in America is evident still as-per the Report of EJI, 2013 in the name of Slavery in America. The main states which were identified as active lynching states are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Virginia.
  • United Kingdoms:

    United Kingdom, who ruled the countries like America and India, experienced crime of mob-lynching in year 1993 in the Case of Stephen Lawrence Murder Case 1993, which was due to the racial disturbances in the Country. However, the Police Authorities were unable to catch the criminals in the case. In the similar Michael Menson Murder Case, 1997 which happened in North London it was alleged by the relatives of the victim and the hospital authorities that the four white men have set fire to the Michael, due to the racial conflicts.

    However, the Police Authorities again remained silent and still on the issue, ignoring the claims of the Hospital Authorities and the relatives. However, in 1998 the Police Authorities have apologized for their in-action, but no action was taken against thecareless Police Officials.

    However, from 1998 till date in UK there is no official reported incident for the crime of mob-lynching.
  • South Africa

    The South Africa who has a strained experience of Racial Discrimination and Conflicts, like in USA has also experienced horrendous crime of Mobocracy, recently in year 2018 and 2019. It is pertinent to mention here that twenty four years back from now i.e. in year 1995 the Constitutional Court of South Africa has officially abolished the Death Penalty in the State and declared it as unconstitutional. But it’s utterly painful from year 2018-2019 around 789 public executions were carried out by the South African Government to the offenders involved in the crime of mob-lynching, including the racial terrorism.

    According to the report of South Africa Police Service (SAPS) in year 2018 and 2019 more than 21,022 murder cases has been registered, from which in more than 789 murders the Causative Factor behind the crime was the Mob Justice and Vigilantism. On an average in year 2018 the South Africa has carried on three times more popular executions in the country as compared to the United States of America carried in 1892.
  • Pakistan

    Being an Islamic State, Got it’s Independence in 1947 by virtue of the Partition of India. The Crime of Mobocracy which has unleashed all the limits and have deteriorated the mentality of the society to an extreme low level, it can widely be seen in the famous mind-throbbing Rehan Murder Case, 2017.

    In August 2017 at Bahadurabad, Karachi a small boy of age 15 years was beaten-up mercilessly by a group of 25-30 persons on the suspicion of theft. The child was beaten up so badly and mercilessly that it resulted into his death. The case was a global issue and has raised serious questions on the functioning on Pakistani Government in 2017. The Surgeon of Jinnah Hospital reported that the reason behind the death of Rehan was severe head injury and torture by the iron sticks and blunt objects. The incident shamed the humanity and got extreme condemnation from all over the world.

    Same scenario can be observed in the Sialkot Lynching Case, 2010 in which two brothers were beaten up mercilessly and the dead bodies were hanged at the town square. Every one around even policemen, women and men watched them being beaten up mercilessly , none of them even tried to stop the mob and persons from doing so.

Suggestions & Measures:
Crime of Mob-Lynching has blemished the Democratic Countries, especially India at large and has emerged as a serious Burning Issue in front of the Present Government. India can have many famous examples for Mob-Lynching like Dadri Case (2015) in which a group of villagers attacked a Muslim Man on the suspicion that he must have slaughtered a cow and consumed it.

In the recent Tabrez Ansari Case (2017) in which a Muslim Boy of 24-yrs was assaulted with iron rods and sticks by the Mob in a village of Jharkhand on the suspicion that he was trying to steal a motorcycle, which resulted in his death. This is a matter of great concern and an alarming stage for the Government to take some serious steps and punitive measures in order to prevent such Mis-happenings in future, which including enactment of a statute preventing the crime of lynching like adopted in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan.

It can widely be seen that the crime of Mob-Lynching is a global issue and not an local issue of any area or a country. The Powerful and Big Countries like America and UK which are known for it’s strong ethical and value system has also experienced the crime of lynching.

However, apart from South Africa, the America and UK has not experienced any lynching incident recently in the past decade. In Indian context, it has experienced the crime of lynching, which began from the last decade. The main issues and the reason for outburst f the lynching crime in India is the issues of cow slaughtering, child lifting, religious sentiments of any community etc.

It has been observed that in India, the most of the lynching incidents have been taken place due to the conflicts in communal differences and religious issues. But, India is diversified country always known worldwide for it’s Unity, Peace, Brotherhood, Traditions & Culture that it offers. Such incidents of hatred crimes and offences are threatening the diversity and image of our country. The government should be vigilante and take effective steps to prevent occurrence of such events in near future.

It is very beautifully said that The change begins with you. The change which we want to see in the society should first be adopted by you, because till we will not change the society will never change. The citizens should also understand their responsibilities as an individual and learn to remain tolerant and sensible. Avoiding and condemning such crimes can bring radical change in our present society, in which we all can play a very important & key role.

We always expects the Government and Administration to bring a change in our society, to curb and control the crime of mob-lynching, but we always overlook our role as an individual to bring the same change in the society and country. If we learn how to act, how to react than the there is no problem in the world than cannot be solved out.

Government and Media can only act as an intermediary, but we as an citizen of such a Proud Country must understand our responsibilities and should ensure peace and brotherhood in the country, as India is the country who has given the Concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam which means the whole world is one family.

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