|Demand of the question
Introduction. What is mob-lynching?
Body. Discuss various reasons for rise in mob-lynching incidents in India. Suggest some measures to prevent mob-lynching.
Conclusion. Way forward.
Mob lynching is an act of premeditated extrajudicial killing by a group of people, often targeted against a particular individual or group. Mob lynching is based on some false information, unconfirmed rumours etc. Act of lynching leads to mockery of law and order. Recently, mob-lynching incidents have increased in India due to various reasons. The lynching of Pehlu Khan in Rajasthan is one of such incident.
Reasons for rise in mob-lynching incidents in India:
- Failure of state: The failure of state in protecting Minorities from mob, lack of proper mechanism in place. People are losing their faith in law and order machinery therefore they are taking laws in their hand.
- Rise in intolerance: In recent times intolerance has increased especially against marginalised. For example, intolerance has increased against Muslims for cow slaughter and mob lynching case has increased on any news of beef eating lead to mob lynching of the Muslims. With rise in anger fuelled by fake news and propagandas, mob lynching cases has increased.
- Misguided youth: With rise in unemployment, youth are being misguided ideologically by politicians or religious groups. Due to misguidance of youth, they act against certain sects to take revenge or are motivated by thrill and excitement.
- Defence: Mob violence may be done for defence against any perceived and presumed threat from other social groups. It is also motivated by a desire to protect one’s territory. E.g. mob crime against a nation’s citizens.
- Biased view: A bias against any group due to historical or social reasons motivate mob to commit a hate crime. For example, Muslim being tagged as terrorist lead to an act of lynching against them by mob.
- Lack of impunity: One of the major reasons for the rise in mob lynching is impunity. Police find it difficult to register cases against big crowds, some people get advantage of it. There is no particular law to deal with lynching and it finds no mention in the Indian Penal Code. Hence often the perpetrators get away with it.
- Propagandas: In India people are very emotive on sensitive issues. It is very easy to flare them up. Some people are spreading wrong information on social media especially on Facebook and WhatsApp. Some people used this incident to settle their personal enmity.
Measures to prevent mob-lynching:
- Legislation: A national law is required in response to the spate of lynching incidents happening in the country. The proposed law should define the terms lynching, mob and victim. It should make lynching a non-bailable offence, criminalise failure of duty by police officers, designate judges for trial, define compensation and rehabilitation for victims and witnesses within a definite time frame.
- Fast-track courts: The lynching cases should be tried by fast-track courts with day-to-day hearings. It is important to punish the culprit with stringent punishment and conclusion of the cases within 6 months.
- Sensitisation: Indian community should be sensitised towards the rights of other citizens and danger of mob crimes for social cohesion. Awareness campaigns are needed to sensitise people about the plight of others.
- Community Policing: By fostering partnerships with the community state can enable communities and law enforcement to work together to prevent and respond to hate crimes. Community involvement can prevent serious mob crimes. Helpline should be established for reporting of mob lynching crimes in society.
- Youth involvement and counselling: The majority of act of lynching are committed by persons who are 29 years old and younger. Youth are also often more vulnerable to violent attacks, bullying, and other forms of harassment. To combat this teachers and school administrators should educate their students and staff on the nature of such incidents and crimes and how to prevent them.
- Training for Officers and Deputies: Police should train new recruits and existing officers and deputies on mob lynching and other related issues. It shall be the duty of every police officer to cause a mob to disperse, which, in his opinion, has a tendency to cause violence in the disguise of vigilantism or otherwise. The state governments shall designate a senior police officer in each district for taking measures to prevent incidents of mob violence and lynching.
- State efforts: The state governments shall immediately identify districts, sub-divisions and villages where instances of lynching and mob violence have been reported in the recent past. Central and the state governments should broadcast on radio and television and other media platforms including the official websites that lynching and mob violence shall invite serious consequence.
Rajasthan and West Bengal have passed state specific laws which criminalises mob lynching. It’s high time that democracy has to be saved from mobocracy by those in power. The Central and state government must leave aside the political blame game. Government need to come up with some concrete steps to protect the citizens from the recurrent violence which cannot be allowed to become the new normal.