lynching

In this article, Karan Singh of JGLS discusses the punishment for participating in a Mob lynching.

“Our country’s national crime is lynching. It is not the creature of an hour, the sudden outburst of uncontrolled fury, or the unspeakable brutality of an insane mob”–  Ida B. Wells

Introduction

Mob lynching is giving punishment to a person without any legal authority for any offence. This can be done by hanging or by beating. Mob Lynching is by a group of people of some community.

But what can be the reasons for mob lynching? It can be anything like religion or racism. In 2017 most cases of mob lynching is related to cow terror attack. This is the main reason for mob lynching recently. A recent report by Indiaspend, in the first six months of 2017, 20 cow terror attack has already happened. The attack included mob lynching, attacks by vigilantes, murder, harassment, assault, rape etc. In some attacks the victim was chained, beaten and stripped while in other the victim were hanged.[1]

India is experiencing too much of violence between different groups. The war between Muslim and Hindus can be a reason of this mob lynching. Even in Kashmir, mob lynching is common.

History

Lynching by mob is a punishment that was served in past. It was usually associated in the united states towards Blacks. Lynching acquired with violence against black in nineteenth century. Lynching began in 1880s and was common in the South America until the 1930s. Between this period, an estimated 2400 black men, women and children were killed by mob.

It was used as a punishment against slaves who tries to escape from their owners. Sometimes, whites who openly opposed slavery were the victims of lynch by mobs. After the 14th amendment to the Constitution blacks were given all the rights of citizenships.

List of crimes that promoted lynch by mobs during this period were gambling, quarreling, arguing with a white man, attempting to vote, unruly remarks, demanding respect, and acting suspiciously. Even they were not given chance to have a fair trial.[2]

Recent cases of mob lynching in India

October 9, 2015 (Udhampur truck attack): On basis of the rumors that slaughtered cows were being transported, Some Hindu extremists attacked a truck by throwing petrol bombs at it, leading to death of the truck driver.

March 2016 (Latehar district, Jharkhand): Two Muslim traders were taking their cattle to animal fair. Due to this reason mob lynched and hanged the traders.

April 5, 2016: Gau Rakshaks are a group of people who want to save cows. On April 5 Mustain Abbas was shot by Gau Rakshaks when he was returning back home after buying bulls.

September 8, 2016: In Jalpaiguri district, a man was lynched by mob on suspicion of stealing cattle.

April 1, 2017 (Rajasthan): On this day, mob attacked more than 15 people as they were transporting cows which resulted in the death of Pehlu Khan.

May 1, 2017 (Guwahati): Mob lynched 2 men in Assam after they suspected to be cattle thieves.

May 21, 2017 (Barmer, Rajasthan): One person was beaten to death in Loharwa village of Barmer district when two groups clashed over a land dispute.

May 31, 2017 (Jamshedpur): Mob beats 4 people to death on suspicion of kidnapping children. 3 more were lynched by the mob on the suspicion of being child lifters.

June 18, 2017 (Rajasthan): A CPI(ML) member-turned-activist was allegedly lynched to death in Rajasthan by government officials after he came to the rescue of women who were being photographed while defecating in the open.

June 23, 2017 (Nowhatta, J&K): Police officer Mohammed Ayub Pandith was lynched by an angry mob after he allegedly opened fire at a group of people who caught him clicking pictures near the mosque.

June 26, 2017 (West Bengal, Durgapur): On Saturday, barely two days before Eid, three Muslim youth were lynched in Durgapur village, West Bengal, by a mob of cow vigilantes over suspicion of cow theft. [3]

Most Recent Case in Kashmir

This is the most recent case of mob lynching in Kashmir. On 24th July 2017 has arrested 5 of the 12 persons identified to be a part of the mob.  Mohammad Ayub Pandith was the officer who was lynched by the mob. He was stripped and lynched by a mob outside the historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar’s area.

The officer allegedly opened fire at a group of people who caught him clicking pictures near a mosque. Three people were injured in the firing. The deceased officer was making a video of stone pelting by locals and objecting to this, the mob attacked him. Officer opened fire through his service pistol in his own defence but the situation was out of control.[4]

Punishment for mob Lynching

As mob lynching is increasing day by day and this leading to the killing of innocent people. Is the punishment enough that is there or do we need some strict punishment to stop the lynching.

Punishment for mob Lynching is not specific. It all depends on the facts of the case. For example, If mob commits murder then it will fall under 302 of the IPC. Murder in any form whether by a lone killer or a seething mob will fall under section 302 of IPC.

Section 302 of Indian Penal Code: Section 302 of IPC defines punishment for murder. It states that whoever commits murder shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine. This section can be applied to a mob if victim is dead by the

Section 304 of Indian Penal Code: Culpable Homicide not amounting to murder. Whoever commits culpable homicide not amounting to murder shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.[6]

Section 307 of Indian Penal Code: Attempt to Murder. Whoever does any act with such intention or knowledge, and under such circumstances that, if he by that act caused death, he would be guilty of murder, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine and if hurt is caused to any person by such act, the offender shall be liable either to imprisonment for life, or to such punishment as is hereinbefore mentioned. When any person offending under this section is under sentence of imprisonment for life, he may, if hurt is caused, be punished with death.[7]

Section 323 of IPC Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt.—Whoever voluntarily causes hurt, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.[8]

Section 325 of IPC Punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt. Whoever, except in the case provided for by section 335, voluntarily causes grievous hurt, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.[9]

These punishment which is provided above will only be applicable for a group of people in mob lynching. THese punishments have to be read with the sections provided below.

Section 34 of IPC. This section defines common intention. When a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of the common intention of all, each of such persons is liable for that act in the same manner as if it were done by him alone.

If a mob committed murder, then this section will make all the person that was part of the mob will be committed with the section of murder with this section.[10]

Section 141 of IPC: This section deals with unlawful assembly. An assembly of five or more persons is designated an “unlawful assembly”. If an assembly commits any wrong to anyone, they all will come under this unlawful assembly and will be prosecuted with the punishment.[11]

Section 149 of IPC: Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence commit­ted in prosecution of common object.—If an offence is committed by any member of an unlawful assembly in prosecution of the common object of that assembly, or such as the members of that assembly knew to be likely to be committed in prosecution of that object, every person who, at the time of the committing of that offence, is a member of the same assembly, is guilty of that offence.

If there is a common objective of a mob for example a mob with common object of punishing the cow traders will come under this section.[12]

Section 147 and 148 of IPC: In this section, rioting and its punishment is defined. Whoever is guilty of rioting, being armed with a deadly weapon or with anything which, used as a weapon of offence, is likely to cause death, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.[13]

Section 120B of IPC: criminal conspiracy If a group of people conspire to commit an offence punishable with death or imprisonment will be liable under this section.[14]

Situation in India:

As we know that, in India there is no specific law that deals with mob lynching. Mob Lynching is a serious crime and should not be taken lightly. Government should take steps to stop communal dispute and mob lynching by different communities. Union Home Minister assured that the centre would ask the state government to pursue the mob lynching cases at the earliest. But the home minister was not able to explain what steps government is taking to ensure security of citizens.[15]

But a new law is introduced to stop mob lynching by the government.

MUSUKA Manav Suraksha Kanoon:

As the mob lynching is rising there is a concern within the society. The concern by every citizen of India. Concern of not having a specific law against mob lynching, due to which the accused gets aways with the most heinous crimes. But the societies are coming together to make a new law against lynching. This law is called MUSUKA. The National Campaign Against mob lynching launched a draft law named MASUKA. Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of BR Ambedkar, and activist Tehseen Poonawalla drafted a law with Shehla Rashid, Shehzad Poonawalla and other members of National Campaign Against Mob Lynching (NCAML) in the presence of lawyer Sanjay Hegde, Professor Manoj Jha at the Constitutional Club today.

MSUKA is a law which is related to mob lynching only. It will define the word ‘mob’ and ‘lynching’. Lynching will be made a non-bailable offence. Life imprisonment may be given to convicts under mob lynching. The provisions for a time bound judicial enquiry which should not take more than six months. Also, the victims will receive compensation.[16]

Conclusion:

Mob Lynching should be stopped as it promotes violence, hatred, war etc. Lynching is not at all healthy for a country and its society. People should understand that every life is important. Killing someone on just a suspicion is not justified. Also, people should not take law in their own hands. Courts and police are there to give punishment. Using violence is not the option left. People can change the society even by speaking. “Raise your voice not your hand” if you want to change something in the society. More than that government should pass the new law, MASUKA which will bring legal and political minds together to try and find a solution. And by doing this, many lives can be saved in coming years. STOP MOB LYNCHING!

References

[1]https://www.newslaundry.com/2017/07/04/mob-lynchings-in-india-a-look-at-data-and-the-story-behind-the-numbers

[2] http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences-and-law/law/crime-and-law-enforcement/lynching

[3]http://www.timesnownews.com/india/article/public-lynchings-that-shook-india-a-timeline/64250

[4]http://indianexpress.com/article/india/nowhatta-mob-lynching-jammu-kashmir-dysp-mohammed-ayub-pandith-killed-jamia-masjid-srinagar-4717934/

[5] Section 302, Indian Penal Code

[6] Section 304, Indian Penal Code

[7] Section 307, Indian Penal Code

[8] Section 323, Indian Penal Code

[9] Section 325, Indian Penal Code

[10] Section 34, Indian Penal Code

[11] Section 141, Indian Penal Code

[12] Section 149, Indian Penal Code

[13] Section 147, 148, Indian Penal Code

[14] Section 120B, Indian Penal Code

[15]http://caravandaily.com/portal/home-minister-at-loss-to-explain-govt-steps-taken-against-mob-lynching/

[16]http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/national-campaign-against-mob-lynching-masuka-manav-suraksha-kanoon/1/996682.html

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