• Yet Another Mob Lynching In UP: What Has Been Done to Implement Apex Court’s Directives?

    The Citizen Bureau

    August 31, 2018

    NEW DELHI/BAREILLY: A 22 year old man Sharukh Khan, home from Dubai, was lynched by a mob in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh on suspicion of stealing a buffalo.

    The incident was reported from Bholapur, Hindoliya village in Bareilly district late Tuesday night. The postmortem report according to the local media said that he died of internal injuries to his liver and kidneys. The Bareilly police however, claimed that he was a drug addict and had died of an overdose, an allegation rubbished by his family as false.

    Khan worked in an embroidery unity in Dubai and had come home to visit a month ago. His brother Feroz said that he had gone out with friends and his family got worried when he did not return home. They then received a phone call from the police saying he had been hospitalised.

    As has become customary in the cases of lynching the police has registered two cases. One of murder against 25 persons. And the second of buffalo theft, based on a First Information Report that was filed by villagers naming Khan, and three of his friends.

    Over 70 lynchings have been reported over the past one year with the excuses ranging from cow smuggling, cow slaughter, child lifting and braid chopping. Mobs collect with the speed of lightning and mercilessly beat the targeted person, usually till death.

    In July this year itself at least 12 persons were killed by mobs on suspicion of being child lifters in separate incidents and almost as many injured. In Dhule five were killed by a mob, in Malegaon five were beaten and left injured, in Bidar, Karnataka a software engineer was killed and four with him seriously injured, in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal a woman was badly injured after being beaten by a mob, in Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh another woman was beaten to death, in Jalpaiguri again women were beaten and stripped. Interestingly in July the mob attacks following rumours of child kidnapping were reported from Maharashtra, West Bengal, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh where days of rumours preceded the attacks.

    The lynchings by cow mobs remained largely confined to Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Akbar Khan was killed in Alwar, Rajasthan by a mob. The youth with him was injured. Three men were beaten up in Hajipur, Bihar by a cow mob while transporting cattle. Another man was killed in Bahrola, Haryana. Here the rumours ranged from cow theft to cow slaughter. In the last case the man has not been identified, with not a word since August 2 when the incident took place about his identity or origin.

    The Supreme Court, taking note of the spate of mob lynchings, last month urged the government to bring a legislation against this. And noted in a slew of directions: * The state governments shall designate a senior police officer in each district for taking measures to prevent incidents of mob violence and lynching.

    * 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.

    * The nodal officers shall bring to the notice of the DGP any inter-district co-ordination issues for devising a strategy to tackle lynching and mob violence 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

    * 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 .

    * Curb and stop dissemination of irresponsible and explosive messages, videos and other material on various social media platforms. Register FIR under relevant provisions of law against persons who disseminate such messages.

    * Ensure that there is no further harassment of the family members of the victims.

    * State governments shall prepare a lynching/mob violence victim compensation scheme. * Cases of lynching and mob violence shall be specifically tried by designated court/fast track courts earmarked for that purpose in each district. The trial shall preferably be concluded within six months.

    *To set a stern example in cases of mob violence and lynching, the trial court must ordinarily award maximum sentence upon conviction of the accused person.

    *If it is found that a police officer or an officer of the district administration has failed to fulfill his duty, it will be considered as an act of deliberate negligence.

    First published in The Citizen.

    Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the writer's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of the Indian Writers' Forum.

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