Lynch mobs and desensitised society
A COUPLE of months ago in Chani Goth, Bahawalpur, a mentally unstable person was stoned to death. He was in police custody after the area people complaint against him about his alleged involvement in desecration of the Holy Quran. People stormed the police lock-up and dragged him out. After beating him up, they burned him alive.
Now in an identical case, which happened in a village of Sita Road, Dadu, once again an insane and mute person has been charged with the same allegation.
From a local mosque he was handed over to the local police. After this, the police completed routine formalities but failed to protect his life. According to news reports, this incident happened late night. During Fajr prayers there were announcements made from the mosque about his act of burning the Holy Quran.
As a result, an emotionally-charged mob attacked the local police station and got hold of the accused person. They dragged him out of the police station. After beating him up severely, they brought him to a chowk and brutally started stoning him. When he was breathing his last they used kerosene and set him alight.
After this incident, some previous questions surfaced again. In such cases whose responsibility is it to protect a person’s life?
What about police responsibilities? After the arrest of the suspect, what police officers should do? Why didn’t the police officers of the police station concerned fulfil their duties?
The saddest part of this incident is that many people used their mobile phones to record these heinous crimes. That was shocking. These people are bigger criminals. They could have saved those mentally ill men from the mob’s wrath. But it is sad they were busy making videos.
This is now the duty of the Sindh chief minister to order a thorough investigation into this tragic incident. The Sindh inspector-general of police should also order holding of a high-level interdepartmental inquiry.
Those who are found guilty of negligence should be charged. The local police should be given this task to arrest those who were involved in the attack on the police station.The culprits can be easily identified in the footage of the incident. All of them should be brought to the dock of justice.
If all concerned will do their duty efficiently to deal with this case, it will make a huge difference. We may be able to prevent such cases in the future. The people should know that in such cases they should not take the law into their hands. This way we will be able to control mob justice.
DR ALFRED CHARLES