mob lynching

Mob Lynching also known as vigilante violence refers to the hate inspired violence against the minorities. It is an punishment to punish a person alleged to have committed a crime. Merriam Webster dictionary describes lynching as, “Putting to death by mob action without legal approval”. Dictionary describes lynching as putting to death of a person through mob action without recourse to the law – “an unlawful murder by an angry mob of people”.

In India, there are various types of violence Muslims accused in bovine matters or for any other reason (eg. Love jihad), dalits, inter-faith couples, mentally challenges women accused of stealing or murdering children (Dayan) in order to provide „Instant Justice‟ or to safeguard their traditional and social norms. In India, cow is considered as a sacred animals from the centuries and killing the cow or murdering him is seen as a sin and there are various provisions on various states on slaughtering of cow. Lynching originated in the 19th century America, where white mobs lynched black Americans. Current status of law relating to mob violence in India. Presently there is no special provision or law to punish mob lynching or hate violence in India but there are some other provisions related to such violence.

The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) under Section 223(a) provides that the mob involved in same offence in the same act can be tried together. The Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 also has some proximate sections related to hate speech and hate crimes under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 153B (imputation, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 505(statements conducing to public mischief) but as seen in majority of the cases, these sections weren’t imposed upon the perpetrators and only sections against individuals such as Section 302(punishment for murder), 307(attempt to murder), 323(punishment for causing hurt), 325(punishment for causing grievous hurt) etc. are applied because of which the crime is seen as a n offence against individual and not the community.

Such an approach is not justified as incidents like mob lynching are seen from communal lenses and are usually targeted against a certain minority, caste, religion, gender etc. and is a matter of public order and not merely an offence against a person. The offence of lynching usually takes place as an organized hate crime against a community so it must be considered as a heinous offence. However the courts have started taking the cognizance and heinousness of the offence as it can be seen in the Supreme Court’s judgment in the case of Nandini Sundar v. State of Chhattisgarh the court held that it is the responsibility of the state to prevent internal disturbance and to take steps to ensure public order. The same has been provided under Article 355 of the constitution which places the duty on the Union to protect states against any external aggression or internal disturbance.

The most substantial and worthy contribution of the law is that is the first in country dealing with the rights and protection of vulnerable population which define the new crime of dereliction of duty of public officials. The law requires the state to formulate the camps and rehabilitation in case of displacement of victims, and death compensation. This is significant as in most cases of lynching, it is found that states have only criminalized the victims, never supported the survivors who live not just in loss and fear. The next incidence that gathered a lot of attention took place in Dadri on 28th September 2015 when Mohammad Akhlaq and his son were dragged out of their home and were beaten to death by a mob of around 2000 people on suspicion that they stole and slaughtered a cow calf.

As history has taught us on countless occasions, mob justice is a symptom of the failure of the State to keep its promise of the effective dispensation of justice. Resorting to mob lynching is an affront to the dignity of human beings, the constitutional commitments guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution and a serious breach of every International commitment to Human Rights. The spate of lynching started last May in eastern Jharkhand state after rumors on WhatsApp about child kidnappers led to the killing of seven men. The rumors have since resurfaced, with 21 deaths reported in dozens of attacks across the country mostly targeting non-locals.4While in all the incidents, rumors of child lifting went viral in a matter of minutes or even seconds, and the police were ill – equipped to deal with the situation. It is well known that the ratio of policemen to population in India is one of the lowest in the world.  The political backing of such groups gives them the courage to commit the acts of violence against the minority or weaker sections of the society as in most cases none of the accused is named and the accused stay „unidentified‟ or no arrest takes place .Thus, majoritarian political parties along with intolerant vigilantes are also responsible for mob lynchings by creating anti-minority laws to restrict their rights and anti-minority groups and to tell them that their rights cannot be protected.


Such there is no existence of good crimes or bad crimes similarly there is no existence of good mob lynching or bad mob lynching the crowd is of general perception that if judiciary or police administration cannot provide them justice. They Own it by themselves even the person is committed the minor offence such as theft.

When we see it by whole their instead of introducing various sub section in various bare acts of the country and the current administration should revive the faith and trust on our judiciary.

Since the middle of the 20th century, lynching has acquired an openly class character and more frequently takes the form of direct murder of Negroes and progressive figures. Lynching is particularly provoked by such extreme rightist, profascist organizations as the Ku Klux Klan and the John Birch Society.

Author: jageshwar pateriya,
jagran lakecity university/student

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