Prashant Dayal, Ahmedabad: Last month, a mob had lynched a group of three women belonging to the Vadi community in Vadaj area of Ahmedabad on suspicion of them being a gang of child lifters on the prowl. It claimed the life of one of the women who succumbed to her injuries from the thrashing. Rumor has been rife since some time about a gang of kidnappers active in their area and the mob was not ready to listen to the pleas of the women that they were actually beggars and not child lifters. The Gujarat Police and the state government had to come out with a clarification to the public that no such gang is active and the citizens must rather stay alert and prevent rumor-mongering of this sort.

But seems like people trust the news shared on the social media rather than the government and the police. The recent example was the killing of five men in Dhule, Maharashtra by a mob, who suspected them to be child lifters. The men had just got off a bus when a few suspecting people nearby surrounded them asking questions and soon a mob gathered and began to thrash them mercilessly. Upon being inquired if anyone from the mob had actually lost their child to kidnappers, it was revealed that no one had, and they had simply joined the crowd to ‘punish’ the men.

There have been similar cases of mob justice after incidents of rape too, where the mob bashed up the accused despite them being under police custody. It is important to understand the mindset of the mob and why these incidents are occurring frequently now. Over the time, the people have lost their trust in the police and the law that it will give appropriate and timely punishment to criminals. Past incidents of the police bowing their heads before the influential have made the people believe that the police cannot enforce the law when needed and that lady justice has actually put on a blindfold on her eyes. The law demands a witness to come forth even in cases where the crime was committed in broad daylight in front of everyone’s eyes. But people refrain from coming forth as witnesses because they believe that their witness won’t nail the accused and that they also fear if they would live long after they testify against the criminals.

Thus, when a mob takes the law into its hands, it is because it has lost its trust in the judiciary. The mob is always made up common men and women like us. Which means, the citizens of the country do not trust the police to ensure justice to them if they are to catch a criminal and hand him over to the cops. This mindset of the mob didn’t take birth from any one-off incident. I have heard my father and grandfather say that even God won’t go to the extent of taking his detractor to the courts.

We have begun to believe that the people have now taken the law into their hands to give justice. But a mob can never deliver just, but it can only extract revenge. Because the mob never listens to the other side of the story and believes that only their side is true. It is not necessary for a mob to take the law into their hands for one specific reason; there can be many reasons and the simmering anger over these several issues is what shapes the mentality of the mob. It is not necessary for the law to be delivered in courts. We are the believers of Panch Parmeshwar. A delay in the delivery of justice doesn’t give the mob the permission to take the law into their hands, as we live in a democracy and not a jungle raj.

Source: Gujarat Mitra.

Prashant Dayal tweets @prashantdayal26. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more.

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