Palghar Mob Lynching and the Corruptive Silence

    The article is about how to resist back from the group of monstrous people in our country who are staged ubiquitously in our society with an intention to swallow our country by slaughtering an innocent individual merely based on a presumption of the crime which may be done by a person or because of supposing on the false rumors based on caste, religion, sex, race, political affiliation or other diverse grounds. Their activities and mind are maneuvered by these misguided hypotheses and fabrications which are just employed as the shelter of invisibility for completing the underlying objectives of the main accused who created this human weapon and ultimately exploiting it to crush the society into sections and consuming it. Indeed, the forces who should govern them and can fight against them are instead functioning as powerhouses for them by casting the way of selective silence, the whole narrative is accumulated on the silence determined by them, and how we can transform this silence to the absolute discourager of this lawless formation.

    The Palghar mob lynching is one of such incidents

    The Palghar incident is not the beginning of the story of selective silence, it already started with the past uncounted incidents which are not viral today. 16 April 2020 incident is just an addition to it, virally known as Palghar mob lynching, where two innocents seers and driver were lynched and beaten till death by the mob based on the fabrication that they were thief or child-lifters but in existence they were just passing by the suburb near Palghar to attend the funeral in some village of Gujarat from Mumbai. In this catastrophe, the local administrators had thrown upon this entire episode, even given up on the life of the victims which emerges as the complete shutdown of the law and order. Later they made more than a hundred arrests, including minors. There is no need to detail the name of the dead victims, otherwise no other than communal angels will surround their names.  The ending of this dreadful story is not finished yet, this will continue to happen till the silence of the authorities is shattered and bracing to challenge the behemoth of lynching till its death. 

    Present Legal Procedural measures to deal with this issue

    We basically need to forward this complication through the investigation of observation of the preceding cases of hate crime, besides it concentrates further on potential explanations and systems to exterminate it. We have some legal weapons which are not expressly dealing with the offence of lynching but are applied like in Indian penal code, section 153(A) which accords with the hate crimes and section 149 which deals with a member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of a common object.

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    Then interrelation of any sections can be adopted and implemented to the guilty mob based on the facts of the case, for instance, sections 302 and 149 will be operated collectively for a murder committed by the mob. But these regulations are not sufficient to compromise with this issue as this calls for a special arrangement that is more flexible and comprises every segment.

    Supreme Court’s Guidelines proves to be the necessity 

    To determine this dilemma, the Apex court in 2018 laid down some guidelines for the center and state government to formulate laws, to tackle horrendous acts of mobocracy. These protocols can be structurally divided into ‘preventive measure’ which are established to stop the mob lynching to crop up like a protection wall and ‘remedial measure’ contracts with the measure which are carried out to encounter the mob lynching if it takes place even after administering the preceding measures, they too can be contrasted with the soldiers who operate the wall as a safeguard against crime. 

    These guidelines propose that in every district the nodal officer should be assigned who will further from the task force supported by DSP level officer and the work of the task force is to stop the mob lynching to take effect by gathering intelligence reports and tracking them down in the sensitive area by examining the individuals who are predominantly involved in giving hate speeches, violative activities. Regular meeting and police patrolling should be undertaken to so that the process should be kept in track, the fundamental consideration of this procedure is to enhance the intelligence quality to course down the face of the mob in the respected area and to dissolve them with the support of local intelligence unit in every district, which should be set up to constrain the dissemination of capricious and explosive messages, videos and alternative information on social media platform by setting up the collaboration with the central government. Governments of both the levels should endeavor simultaneously to carry out convenient use of social media to spread awareness about this issue, its drastic effects, and repercussions of violating the offence which will ultimately help to establish trustworthy relations which can be utilized to advantage the intelligence inputs. 

    But if even after seeking all these steps the mob lynch happens then immediate remedial measures should be adhered to which advocates that jurisdictional police stations shall immediately lodge an FIR and dissipate the mob so that they can handle the situation. Immediately report to the nodal officer of the respected district to be made, who shall in return ensure that no further harassment of the victim should be caused and will grant compensation corresponding to the nature of the bodily injury and psychological injury caused and the investigation of the circumstance should farther be personally supervised by him. This procedure also speaks about the trials of the mob violence and lynching which should be conducted on the day-to-day basis in the designated court and the trial should preferably be accomplished within the sixth months. 

    With the endorsements of the supreme court guidelines, the government of three states Manipur, West Bengal and Rajasthan implemented the act against the lynching in 2018. Besides this the Manipur also had some specific provision for a crime of dereliction of accountability of public officials which specifies that police officer who cannot prevent lynching in their jurisdiction will be penalized, This special arrangement was made to look after the rights of the vulnerable population in addition to this they should likewise have the provisions concerning the training of these public offices which should be conducted timely to keep them updated. They also have the provision of rehabilitation for the survivors of this crime. 

    Measures to turn corruptive silence into lawful revolution

    These all guidelines will not work unless implemented correctly and narrowly to the target for which we need to focus on the strength of these criminals involved in mob lynching which includes: the unidentification of faces, their strong networking channels, control on social media and blind faith of local people in them in addition to this disbelieve and lack of connectivity with the government, negligence side of authorities about these issues and support of some administrators of the society and to execute their plan they take the help of some sensitive issues like religion, sex, caste, etc. 

    These strengths can also be proven as a weakness for them as if we enhance our quality of intelligence, workforce through the proper implementation of apex court’s measures and with the coordination of central and state government to break down their network and identification which will finally lead to the decomposition of this monster. This cannot be possible without building the transparent connectivity between the people and the government so that they can trust them more than they believe in the criminal’s ideology. There is a major need for regular educational workshop sessions with the involvement of some public administrators in these sensitive areas where the people will get the opportunity to clear their doubts, fears, problems, insecurities related to government in this way we can also check on the corrupt elements in our government, with these sessions we can also aware them about some social issues, the procedures of law, ideology of nationalism so that they cannot interpret it in a negative and violative way, also explain about the hate crimes with its effect and its consequences further to prepare them about what they have to do when they experience or see such circumstances of mob lynching happening around, at last, but not the least to aware them about the fake messages and news which spread on social media in these areas. There is also the need for the monitoring of forwarding messages in social media in sensitive areas and while exercising this monitoring system the administrators and government should utilize it solely for the purpose of investigating the issue. There should be a check on past accusers of mob lynching who were released by the court as there is the possibility of the masterminds of these illegal plays and also to stop these mobocracy ideologies from entering into the political arena. They can also prepare a mobile application to track mob lynching in sensitive areas with this they can launch a helpline number for the same. These all measures can only work with the amalgamation of all the pillars of the constitution, not with some corrupted silence. 

    Endnotes

    Refer to all these documents and links provided for more insightful understanding:

    I. Legal Acts and Codes

    • Indian penal code 
    • Anti-mob Violence Act 2018 (Manipur government)

    II. Newspaper

    • https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/to-end-mob-lynching-supreme-court-gives-an-11-point-prescription/story-pdknxkMYd3Caz3R27nSniP.html
    • https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/india-news-out-on-bail-7-accused-in-lynching-policeman-in-bulandshahr-welcomed-with-garlands/337140

    III. Online sources (government and non-government websites)

    • https://www.thequint.com/quintlab/lynching-in-india/
    • https://nhrc.nic.in/node/111620
    • https://thewire.in/rights/indias-legal-system-should-recognise-lynching-as-a-hate-crime

    Shrishti Verma | Symbiosis International University, Hyderabad

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