Title : MOB LYNCHING IN INDIA
Date : Dec 27, 2021
Based on a News Article published in the ‘The Hindu’ on 25th December 2021 on Page Number 1
Useful for UPSC CSE Prelims and Mains (GS Paper II)
What is Lynching:
- Lynching is when a group of people kills members of a certain sect or community on purpose.
- Lynchings and other forms of mob violence can be seen in any civilization.
- In recent years, lynchings by mobs have become more common in India.
- Crime against minorities, particularly religious minorities, as well as the death of females in the sake of honor, is not only a serious crime but also a malaise that threatens our social fabric.
In India, lynching by mobs are on the rise:
- Such incidents have become more common in recent years, posing a barrier to societal progress.
- In dealing with such cases, sections of the IPC and the CrPc were insufficient.
- These acts of honour killing also violate certain fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution, such as the right to life and liberty, which includes the right to bodily integrity and the freedom to associate with anyone one wishes.
- The police filed charges against the victims/survivors in 21% of the incidents. (Source: India Spending Report)
- According to 'India spend,' rumours have been the source of 52 percent of attacks in the last eight years.
Mob lynching is on the rise for a variety of reasons:
- Poor implementation of minority laws: A lynching shows that the law has failed to protect minorities and punish the perpetrators.
- State action is critical in enforcing the law and punishing those who break it.
- No comprehensive law on mob lynching: India has no comprehensive law on mob lynching.
- This allows the criminal to go unpunished.
- Mob has no face due to a lack of accountability and conviction.
- This impunity encourages the crowd to adopt drastic measures.
- As a result, the role of the community and the state in preventing such crimes grows.
- Civil society's active participation in the fight against such crimes, as well as assisting state and law enforcement agencies in apprehending the criminal, is vital.
- Vote-bank politics: Political mobilization that employs violence as a tactic of politics can sometimes be supportive of such forces in society. To combat vote bank politics, community awareness and action against such politicians are required.
- Failure of the police: The police's indifference leads citizens to take the law into their own hands. More occurrences occur as a result of police delays and incapacity to apprehend the offenders. The state should take a more active role in police reform. Any police officers who fail to report such instances in criminal records should face severe consequences.
- The rise of social media penetration, as well as its use to disseminate rumors and hostility, has exaggerated such events. To combat bogus news and rumors, a vigilant community with state-led action against cyber criminals is required.
- Unemployment rates are high, leaving millions of young people unemployed. Various ideologies and agendas frequently mislead and brainwash these youthful minds. It is critical for the government to take action to give more job possibilities for kids while also focusing on the region's economic development.
- Against social peace: These crimes have an influence on societal solidarity and the concept of unity in diversity. This creates a divide between the majority and the minority. It has the potential to exacerbate caste, class, and communal animosity. As a result, the community and the government must work together to prevent such crimes. It is critical to have programs that focus on instilling ideals of tolerance and secularism.
How are mob lynching instances currently handled:
- Under the present IPC, such situations have "no independent" definition. Sections 300 and 302 of the IPC can be used to prosecute lynchings.
- Section 302 states that anyone who commits murder faces the death penalty or life in prison, as well as a monetary penalty. Murder is a punishable offense that is not bailable or compoundable.
What does it mean to be Lynched:
- Any act or series of acts of violence perpetrated by a mob on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary customs, sexual orientation, political affiliation, ethnicity, or any other connected reasons, whether spontaneous or planned.
SC recommendations on Mob Lynching:
- Lynching will be treated as a "separate offense," and trial judges will be required to impose the maximum punishment upon conviction of the accused person in order to make a strong example in incidents of mob violence.
- State governments will be required to appoint a senior police officer in each area to take preventative measures against mob violence and lynching.
- The state governments must identify districts, subdivisions, and villages where recent reports of lynching and mob violence have been made.
- Any inter-district coordination concerns should be brought to the attention of the DGP so that a strategy to combat lynching and mob violence may be devised.
- Every police officer is responsible for dispersing a mob that has a history of causing violence, whether under the pretense of vigilantism or not.
- The federal and state governments must broadcast information about the terrible repercussions of mob lynching and mob violence on radio, television, and other media platforms.
- Regardless of the procedures taken by the State Police, if a lynching or mob violence occurrence is brought to the attention of the local police, the jurisdictional police station must immediately file a FIR.
- Within one month of the date of this judgment, the state governments must prepare a lynching/mob violence victim compensation program based on the requirements of Section 357A of the CrPC.
- It will be considered willful negligence if a police officer or a district administration officer fails to perform his duties.
The necessity of the hour:
- A special legislation should be there in place to deal with honor killings, hate crimes, witch hunting, and mob lynching every time there is a case of these crimes.
- However, these crimes are all murders, and the existing provisions of the IPC and CrPC are adequate to deal with such crimes.
- We need to be properly prepared to cope with mob lynching, thanks to the guidelines established in the Poonawala case. What we need, however, is effective implementation of current laws and accountability of enforcement authorities.
Various states have made following attempts in this regard:
- The government of Manipur was the first to introduce a bill against lynching in 2018, which included certain logical and necessary elements.
- In August of this year, the Rajasthan government approved a measure prohibiting lynching.
- West Bengal, too, has passed a more stricter anti-lynching bill.
What can the Centre do:
- While adopting the guidelines, the Centre should include sections in the law that allow for legal action against doctors who are accused of dereliction of duty, for failing to attend to lynching victims, or for submitting false reports without conducting a proper and thorough medical examination of the victims, either under duress from the police or because of their own prejudice against the victims' community or religion.
- The cash to be paid to the victims should be recovered from the perpetrators of the crime or collective fines levied on the villagers where the lynching occurs under the victim compensation plan.
- The Centre could even call for penal measures against political leaders found guilty of inciting mobs when drafting the laws.
- Punitive punishment against police officers accused of dereliction of duty, as implemented by the Manipur government, could be repeated in the Central law as well, in order to dissuade police employees from behaving partisan in favor of the lynch mob.
- The government has established Ek bharat Shrestha bharat to foster long-term and structured cultural connections among citizens from various regions.
- Community and state governments must play a more proactive role.
- The government should make mob violence a crime.
- The recent regulations passed by the governments of Rajasthan and Manipur are a positive step toward criminalizing mob lynching.
- It is critical to impose penalties on public workers who fail to conduct proper investigations as a result of their failure to perform their obligations.
- Such atrocities are a calamity in a country with such a diverse population as India.
Tags : Section 357A of the CrPC, State Police