Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bihar: The lynch state

When do we get to a situation where normal people, get worked up enough to form a mob and then proceed to pummel, beat, thrash, or use other means of harming or killing somebody who is supposed to have been a thief ? Well, if people could find an answer, they could prevent what seems to be happening in Bihar. In yet another another incident of a supposed criminal having been beaten up by a mob and killed in a frenzy, 2 people were beaten to death after becoming the target of a mob.

Superintendent of Police (city), Anwar Hussain, said the lynching of the two men took place at Nutan Colony under Sultanganj police station last night after news spread that three persons were robbing passersby. The trio was then chased by a crowd. One of them jumped into a pond to save himself but he was pulled out and bludgeoned to death with sticks, iron rods and whatever the mob could lay its hands on.
The incident comes close on the heels of the killing of 10 people on suspicion of being thieves at Dhelpurwa village of Vaishali district on September 13. Earlier this month, a mob had pierced and gouged out the eyes of three young men for snatching away a motorcycle in Nawada district, reviving memories of the infamous Bhagalpur blindings of the 1980s.

This seems to becoming more common in Bihar and other regions nowadays. You report that a person or group of people is committing a robery or other such crime, and people form a mob ready to kill and main, safe in the knowledge that in a mob nobody is recognizable (isn't that what rioters in Delhi who burn public property and commit mayhem on the streets believe in?).
What is this due to ? One reason is the poor system of justice in Bihar, especially in urban or semi-urban areas where the law is mostly absent or manipulated very easily. It is not easy to see justice being served, and such is the environment in which vigilantism starts and prevails. This concept is something that once can see in a number of movies as well where the people of the locality get together and form a mob and then proceed to wreak havoc on the villains.
However, this is a very troubling situation. Such vigilante action further weakens the state, as a number of people will see that is serving the purpose of dispensing instant justice, helped by the fact that a majority of the people who are affected have actually done something wrong. However, for one, stealing is certainly not deserving of a death sentence, the chance of misuse is too high, and overall it can be directed against specific people since very few people have the chance to argue against a mob. Unless the Bihar Government is able to discourage these sort of lynching from happening, as well as make the justice system much better, such sort of vigilantism will continue to happen.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

If you like these writings, you can subscribe to this feed to get new postsSite Feed Site Feed

posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 5:29 AM