“Mobocracy Kills Democracy. Fight The Mobs”. NCHRO Anti-Torture Day Campaign-2018.
New Delhi, India
At a time when the democracy mutating into mobocracy, National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO) has launched its Anti-Torture Day Campaign -2018 with a slogan “Mobocracy Kills Democracy. Fight The Mobs”. Together we need to fight back against Mobocracy and uphold justice. We must organize and mobilise in defence of human decency, in defence of a common future and in defence of human rights. Join us in our campaign to stand up, speak out, and organize with urgency and persistence until the government protects its citizen instead of mobocracy.
Accounts of outrages committed by mobs form the everyday news of the times in our country. They are a warning for an internally building unrest in the stratum of society. These days ‘Mobs’ would incite the onslaught, make videos on their mobile phones and howl in excitement. Victims has been seized and subjected to every imaginable manner of physical torment. Bodies desecrated, victims died in extreme fear and pain, pleading innocence and begging for mercy. It has also been, sadly, observed that many of the incidents take place amid the presence of police officials who act as onlookers, forgetting their moral and constitutional duty. Media even printed that ‘Mobs’ in local towns attended lynching, and often published victory pictures of smiling crowds, many with children standing next to the corpse. The impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators is promoting the spread and increase of mob-violence and killing. Some of the hysteric mob violence are done deliberately to help the vested interests of the politicians to achieve their electoral goals.
This illegitimate violence triggered by a few actors who serve as the accuser, judge and executor, deploy slaps, sticks, stones, iron rods, local ammunitions, petrol and other combustible substances in enforcing their version of justice. In fact, it is not odd to see people joining a mob to punish a person accused of crime without knowing the particular offence the victim is alleged to have committed. Mob violence becomes possible in our country because conditions are created for the perpetrators to dehumanise a fellow human being.
Combating ‘mob justice’ is not an easy task owning to the multitude of factors that lead to it. The failure of our criminal justice institutions and government to prevent mob justice or punish those who engage in it, has lent an air of acceptability to the vile practice. Although there is no mob justice victim or incidence database; or a systematic information gathering system, there is regular media reporting of cases of lynching and mob rule. The National Crime Records Bureau only collects data for the crimes specifically defined by the IPC. Hence no official data is released by NCRB or National Human Rights Commission on the mob-lynching crimes.
Narratives of heart-wrenching horror have gripped the nation, as Indians kill Indians, in total disregard for the law. Recent Cases are below:-
1) Uttar Pradesh, 18-Jun-2018:- Qasim Lynched to Death and Samayuddin seriously injured in Pilakhuwa village in Hapur District. Dead Victim has been dragged by mob in the presence of cops.
2) Jharkhand, 13-Jun-2018:- Murtaza Ansari and Charku Ansari were beaten to death by a mob at Bankatti village in Jharkhand’s Godda district.
3) Assam, 08-Jun-2018:- Abhijit Nath and Nilotpal Das residents of Guwahati, were lynched in Panjuri Kachari village in Karbi Anglong. They pulled out of their vehicle and beaten to death by a mob, who suspected them to be child-lifters, following dissemination of fake news on social media.
4) Karnataka, 29-May-2018:- Sub Inspector and 3 policemen were detained for death of cattle trader Husseinabba in Udupi exposing unholy nexus of criminals and Police.
5) Gujarat, 20-May-2018:- Dalit rag picker Mukesh Vaniya brutally beaten to death by a mob.
6) Madhya Pradesh, April 2018 :- Eleven people were killed during the protests triggered by the Supreme Court making changes to the SC/ST Act. Eight were killed just in the Gwalior-Bhind-Morena region on the border of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Six victims were Dalits. Based on police records, two Dalit men Pradeepand and Akash Jatav were shot dead by a group of upper caste men in separate incidents in Mehgaon and Bhind.
7) January, 2018 :- The Karni Sena’s and other several fringe group’s vandalism against film ‘Padmaavat’ proves that in India, the ‘shoot-first-ask-questions-later’ model is here to stay as long as hurt sentiments are allowed to disrupt democracy over and over again.
8) Haryana, August, 2017:- Haryana police failed to control Dera Sacha Sauda Mob violence. At least 38 people died, Many injured and destruction of properties reported.
9) Rajasthan in August 2017:- where a 40-year old widow, Kanya Devi Regar was branded as a witch by her relatives and community. She was stripped naked, paraded on street, forcibly fed dirty water and excreta and then beaten to death.
10) Jharkhand, 29-Jun-2017:- Alimuddin Ansari lynched to death at Bazartand locality in Ramgarh.
11) Haryana, June 2017 Ballabgarh lynching: 17 year -old Junaid was killed in a Mathura-bound moving train when he and his brothers were returning home to Khandawli village in Ballabgarh after shopping in Delhi. Delhi Government staff and 3 others arrested for ‘inciting mob’ to kill Junaid Khan and injuring others.
12) Jharkhand, May 2017 :- In Bagmeda village of Jharkhand, A mob of 100 patrolling men stopped and lynched three men to death over false charges of child lifting. The victims—Sheikh Naim, Md Halim and Md Sajjad.
13) Assam, April 2017:- Abu Hanifa and Riazuddin Ali were lynched by a mob in the central Assam district of Nagaon. Villagers came out in large numbers, chased the two and assaulted them to death.
14) Rajasthan, April 2017:- Dairy Farmer Pehlu Khan was lynched to death on a busy Rajasthan highway by a mob posing gaurakshaks.
15) Gujarat, July, 2016:- Una Attack in 2016 in Gujarat gave a national outcry when seven Dalits were brutally beaten for skinning a dead cow. It was found that the cow was killed by a lion and the people were just skinning its carcass. However, cow vigilants are apathetic mobs who do not bother to check facts and find violence as the only solution.
16) Jharkhand, 18-March-2016:- Mohammad Majloom Ansari and Inayahtullah Khan were found hanging from a tree in the Balumath forest area in Latehar, Jharkhand. Ansari and young Khan were on their way to the weekly cattle fair with their eight buffaloes when they were stopped, thrashed, strangled and hanged by a lynch mob.
17) Uttar Pradesh, Dadri Lynching case 2015 :- Mohammad Akhlaq (50) was lynched by a mob on 28th September, 2015 in Bishara village in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh and his family was harassed.
Unsurprisingly, lynching was most concentrated in those areas with large socially weak populations. The vast majority of lynching participants were never punished, both because of the tacit approval of law enforcement, and because dozens if not hundreds often had a hand in the killing.
We must lift our sights and focus our minds on how we can prevent the mob violence. The 2018 Anti-Torture Day campaign by NCHRO aims creating a social sense of refraining from violence and that would ultimately lead to a peaceful, tolerant society we all strive for. Every citizen’s life is sacred, and it is long past time to act upon to protect entire citizen. It is time we give democracy a meaning that is within reasonable bounds and is not a degenerated form that should more legitimately be called mobocracy.