By Sujit Chakraborty
Guwahati/Agartala, Nov 6 (SocialNews.XYZ) Due to the lack of a tough law against mob violence and lynching, the police's sluggish actions, and delayed trials, such crimes are being reported not infrequently in the northeastern states.
In 2018, the Supreme Court had suggested to the Centre and the states to enact separate special laws to deal with mob violence and lynching. Sources said that the Central government is still drafting the proposed act, while the states are also yet to comply.
Experts on societal issues, psychiatrists, police officials and law experts said that besides the special stringent laws, and the alertness and swift actions of law enforcing agencies against mob violence and lynching, a mass campaign among the people is also required.
In recent years, many innocent people, including All Assam Students Union leader Animesh Bhuyan, several accused and suspected wrong doers were lynched in different parts of northeastern region.
In a major case in Meghalaya, four of the five under-trials, who had escaped from jail along with a convict, were lynched by a mob at Shangpung in West Jaintia Hills district in September.
According to police, a mob of local people, mostly youths, armed with wooden sticks, badly thrashed the four, killing them on the spot after the fugitives came out from their jungle hideout and tried to procure food.
Meanwhile, 13 people, including the key accused, have been arrested in connection with the lynching of AASU leader Animesh Bhuyan in Assam's Jorhat in November last year.
However, prime accused Neeraj Das, also a drug peddler, mysteriously died in a road accident while he was trying to flee from police. Das was accused of instigating and leading a mob of over 50 people who lynched the AASU leader and injured his associate Pranay Datta, and journalist Mridusmanta Baruah when they tried to assist an elderly accident victim.
Many people stood and gazed on the scene when the violence was going on and others captured the incident on their mobile phones.
In Tripura, three youths, suspected of stealing cattle, were lynched in Khowai district in June last year. Two of the victims were tied with ropes and thrashed by the mob, leading to their deaths, while the third was caught after a chase and beaten to death.
In most lynching cases and mob violence, none of the accused people were punished yet.
Even in the 2018 horrific Karbi Anglong lynching case, Abhijeet Nath and Nilotpal Das were also beaten to death by a mob of villagers who suspect they were as 'child kidnappers', justice was yet to be served.
Assam's Parliamentary Affairs, Information and Public Relations Minister Pijush Hazarika, who is also the state government spokesman, earlier informed that the state was planning to introduce a bill against mob lynching and violence in the Assembly.
Writer and social activist Nandita Datta, who has been doing studies on many social issues for the past many years, said that in most cases, people who are involved in lynching cases see an outburst of anger accumulated due to various crises, including economic, domestic and personal.
"Most people, especially those are earning meagre, are facing numerous problems. They then expressed their anger without a reason. They beat a person to death without knowing the actual matter," Datta, who received many awards, told IANS.
She said that in some cases, people rushed to many kilometres away to beat suspects, and such mob lynching sometimes turned very brutal and sometimes, take communal twists.
In many cases, if the police came to the place of occurrence in time, many lives can be saved, Datta said, adding intolerance is also one of the causes of mob violence and lynching.
Retired senior Assam Police officer Samaresh Baruah said that besides enacting stringent laws, police must be given proper training against mob violence and lynching.
"Trial against the people involved in the mob violence and lynching, must be done in a fast track special court. After every incident of such violence, the issue must be studied in-depth so that the authorities can prepare a proper planning to stop such incidents," Baruah told IANS.
Some people with prejudices attack defenceless people as they do not have any fear of law, said Baruah, who has studied some cases of mob violence and lynching.
(Sujit Chakraborty can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)