Topic: General Studies 2
- Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of people
- Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
Rule of mob: On mob lynching in several States
Context: The lynching of three people, alleged cattle thieves suspected to be Bangladeshi nationals, in Assam on July 18th
Why the incident is condemned?
- It is the second such disturbing incident in recent weeks in the area. On June 1, a 43-year-old Bangladeshi national was lynched in Putni Tea Estate situated about 3 km from the India-Bangladesh border.
- Irrespective of whether they are thieves or smugglers, such killings point to a lack of faith in the rule of law, leading to a general lawlessness
- It also impacts the cordial relations between India and Bangladesh given the difficulties in handing over the bodies to Bangladeshi authorities
Did You Know?
- According to the National Crime Records Bureau’s 2017 data which was released in October 2019 a year behind schedule, Assam had 143 registered crimes per lakh of population
- The NCRB did collect data on lynchings in 2017 but did not publish those
What is lynching?
- Lynching is defined as an act or series of acts of violence or aiding, abetting or attempting an act of violence, whether spontaneous or planned, by a mob (two or more persons) on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary practices, sexual orientation, political affiliation and ethnicity.
- Lynching is an egregious manifestation of prejudice, intolerance, and contempt towards the rule of law.
- There have been many incidences of Mob Lynching for issues with respect to cow, children kidnappers , etc and not only common people but also the police personnel became victims of it.
- Amnesty International India documented 721 such incidents between 2015 and 2018.
Causes of mob lynching
- Prejudices in Indian society are age old and deep rooted. These prejudices are based on various identities like race, gender, caste, class, religion, etc.
- Social media or technological advances help in the process of ‘confirmation bias’ – it is the confirmation of a prejudice or a bias
- The strategic silence of the State and the ineffective law and order machinery has further given legitimacy to mob lynching.
- Political mobilization of fringe groups and Politicization of lynching and strategic silence.
- Lack of digital literacy among common people.
Supreme Court direction
- Supreme Court has described lynching as a “horrendous act of mobocracy”
- Supreme Court in the case of Tehseen Poonawala v Union of India, has provided a 11-point prescription for preventive, remedial and punitive measures and has asked Parliament to legislate a separate offence for lynching and provide adequate punishment for the same.
Is there any separate legislation on lynching?
There isn’t any Parliamentary law on it but Manipur state has enacted a separate law on lynching. The Manipur Law is in sync with the Supreme Court guidelines.
- The Manipur Law has defined mob lynchings
- The Law specified that there would be nodal officers in each district to control such crimes.
- It is the first in the country dealing with the protection and rights of vulnerable populations which defines a new crime of dereliction of duty of public officials.
- It states that Police officers who fail to prevent the crime of lynching in their jurisdiction are liable to be imprisoned for a term that may extend from one to three years with a fine limit of ₹50,000.
- The Law requires the state to formulate a scheme for relief camps and rehabilitation in case of displacement of victims, and death compensation.
- Inspired by this Rajasthan and West Bengal have formulated their version of laws to curb mob lynching
- Mob violence defames the country and there must be stringent intervention by the police to bring an end to this.
- The political leadership also has a role to play in questioning the social consent that allows mob violence.
- The centre should come with the law to deal with it.
Connecting the dots:
- For a demographically diverse country such as India, hate crimes are a disaster. Discuss.