Saturday, September 08, 2018 Last Updated 14 Min 21 Sec ago Malayalam Edition
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Abraham Chettissery
Thursday 09 Aug 2018 09.07 AM

LYNCHING, AN EMERGING FELONY

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Now we make way for lynching throughout India. A minimum of 16 cases of lynching have been reported from Tripura to Maharashtra since May 10, 2018, and the latest being the lynching of five men in Dhule district as reported from reliable sources. These incidents have caused deaths of 22 people including a transgender.So also the five people murdered by villagers in Maharashtra's Dhule district were suspected to be part of a gang of child lifters. It was based on certain, as reported by Police, rumours on social media that a gang of child lifters was active in the area. It is quite astounded to see that a mentally disturbed woman was tied to a pole and tortured by a village mob in Assam's Sonitpur district on the same day for a trifling reason. Similarly two migrant labourers were thrashed in Chennai by a mob on suspicion of being child-lifters.

Likewise three separate lynching cases were reported from Tripural on the suspicion of being child-lifters. The incidents took place in three different districts of Tripura. The victims were a woman, a hawker from Uttar Pradesh and a man hired by the Tripura government to fight rumour mongering. All such crimes are committed on the basis of the rumours spread over social media, such as, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, that are being widely used for transmission of fake images and videos as well as text messages which have potential to incite and tempt violence across the country. In the same way, a 40-year-old woman was beaten to death by a mob of around 30 people at Ahmedabad in Gujarat and a 45-year-old woman was assaulted in Surat. In all those cases people are found taking law in their hands by misusing social media. In the same way an unidentified man was allegedly beaten to death by a mob at Sarguja district in Chhattisgarh.

Recently one Abhijeet Nath and his friend, Nilotpal Das were lynched in Karbi Angiong district of Assam on the same issue and another man in Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh following rumours of cow slaughter was also brutally killed. Police initially denied the cow slaughter angle. But later videos surfaced purportedly showing a mob beating up a man and forcing him to confess to having slaughtered a cow. Police subsequently admitted the fact that there were rumours that the incident was an outcome of cow slaughter. The lynching also went viral on social media. Two men were beaten to death by a mob in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. A transgender was lynched by a mob of over 500 people on suspicion of being part of a child-lifting gang. The incident took place in the old Hyderabad city. Such lynching cases have been reported from West Bengal's Malda district, Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu too. From the reported incidents, it can be understood that a new violent culture has been cultivated in India under the influence and temptation of certain fanatic and extremist groups. They are supported by local M.Ps, MLAs, bureaucrats and even ministers.

Most of the lynching cases are reported from Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tripura and such other states ruled by BJP. The Supreme Court termed lynching as "horrendous acts of mobocracy and directed the Union and state governments to take preventive, remedial and punitive measures to curb it with iron hands. Dictionary meaning of Lynch says, kill someone for an alleged offence without a legal trial. The word 'lynching'originated in mid-18th century America. Origin of 'lynching' is traced to two people named Charles Lynch and William Lynch, who lived in Virginia in the United States. During the Civil War in the United States many lynching cases had been reported in the US, and in most of such cases, the black were victimized. But in certain cases, whites were also lynched for opposing slavery of black people. Lynching cannot be limited to the US and India, but various UN reports refer to lynching cases from Sudan, Nigeria, Haiti and other countries. However, reports of lynching have become more common in recent times in India, especially since the Modi Government came into power under BJP.
Really speaking, India does not have a specific law to deal with lynching. The Indian Penal Code (IPC) does not mention the word lynching

However, Section 223(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973 states that persons or a mob involved in the same offence in the same act can be tried together. Somehow this provision has not helped in delivering justice in cases of lynching. Anti-lynching legislation is not a permanent solution to this unexcused menace. It has commonly been agreed that laws are no deterrents when a gang of criminals are supported by local politicians or their bureaucracy. It is the high time to look into the reasons for the lynching cases and increasing hate crimes that have been encouraged and instigated from certain corners of our country. Investigators are found protecting the accused and accuse the victims. It shows that no additional laws or legislation will help prevent such crimes since it has already been cultivated as a new culture of hatred with a view to get all communal issues alive throughout the country. But responsible citizens cannot abstain from reacting to organized crimes nor can they keep mum towards mobilizing such hate crimes. On the contrary, the intellectual class- lawyers, writers, teachers, human rights activists and so on - concerned with their fellow beings should come forward and declare their solidarity for the protection of every human life. Otherwise the voice of justice will be silenced within a short time.

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Abraham Chettissery
Thursday 09 Aug 2018 09.07 AM
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