A lethargic justice delivery system, a belief-driven population and secularism- India continues its’ struggles with lawlessness. Recently, a new gore trend has emerged where a group of individuals collectively decide to accord “justice” to another person by punishing him for a “crime” he has or has not committed.
The group mob, created spontaneously or premeditatedly, becomes the advocate of their own belief, the judge of the victim’s guilt and executor of the punishment as well. The extent to which a victim is punished has reached barbarous heights. The attacks include murder and attempt to murder, harassment, assault and gang-rape. It is unimaginable as to what limits people are willing to take a small brawl that ends up in fatalities. All in the name of belief.
The statistics have drastically risen to over 20 attacks in the first half of 2017. Not long ago, a man was publicly murdered in a village in India for raping a female. In another incident, a youth was beaten to death by a mob of angry individuals shouting anti-national slogans against the victim- the death was the result of a tussle over a seat. Other than these, Indians have often shown their love and concern for “Cows” by fatally attacking those who are suspected of consuming beef.
These incidents were either triggered by politically motivated individuals or those who were impatient towards the set justice delivery system. However, the reason behind these acts remains irrelevant because mob- lynching per se is inhuman. It simply shows a grim picture of the non-reliance of people on the law and law-enforcement agencies. Mob-lynching is a crime that is committed by a shadow of individuals, untraceable most of the times, creating fear and terror among the innocent. It is the society that is condemning and participating in the attacks.
The inept law and order of the country indirectly motivate vigilantes and mob-lynching. Recently, a peaceful protest was carried pan- India by the name of “Not In My Name” campaign, where thousands of individuals participated in demonstrating the non-tolerance towards lawlessness and attacks in the name of justice, religion, race, sex and caste. But, creating awareness about the plague that is slowly consuming our society will only help if there are stern laws in place which re-establish people’s faith in the judicial system.
There are legal consequences for acts like inculcating animosity among people belonging to different communities, molesting and harassing women, killing and beating, etc. However, there is no specific law penalising mob lynching as an offence as a whole. Violence goes unpunished due to the collective action of a community. Often, it is the perpetrators who are supported by the Society for according justice. All of this has the potential to be eliminated through law. Through a recent announcement, the government has put the law on mob lynching on hold.
Hence, the faceless terror that lingers, has claimed many innocent lives and shall continue to unless a stern law re-establishes the faith of people in the judiciary and puts a complete stop at the faceless trepidation.
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