Lynching refers to the conscious killing of a person by government authorities
or individuals without any legal sanction. The word “lynch” is most likely to
have originated during the American Revolution. It comes from the phrase
lynch law- a term used for punishment without trial.
In India, there have been several cases of mob lynching, one of the most
famous being the Dadri mob lynching case in 2015 in which a mob of villagers
attacked the home of 52 year old Muslim man named Mohammed Akhlaq and killed him
on the suspicion of slaughtering a cow for consumption. Incidents of mob
lynching have been reported significantly and on an alarming rate since
Most cases of mob lynching across the country took place after the
Bharatiya Janta Party came into power in 2014.
The highest percentage of victims belongs to the Muslim community- being
attacked by extremist Hindu groups in matters of cow slaughter. Opposition
parties have raised questions against the Modi government and it’s inefficiency
to stop the growing problem of lynching in the country. However, Modi has
always condemned such criminal acts and advocated peace and unity among
communities. But, that is not enough.
Presently there is no codified law against lynching in India, neither is
there any specific punishment for the offenders other than the punishments
prescribed in different sections of the Indian Penal Code and Code of Criminal
Procedure. The Supreme Court has stated that certain preventive, remedial and
punitive measures will be issued to ensure safety of those who feel in danger
and punish those who are part of any such hate crime.
India has always been known for its unity in all the diversity it offers.
But that diversity is being threatened now by such hate crimes done by extremist
groups in the name of religion and community. The government must take effective
and serious steps toward stopping crimes like mob lynching, and the citizens
must be more responsible and tolerant.