Your editorial, “Crack down on cow vigilantism” (July 23, 2018) has rightly asked the government of India to bring out strong anti-lynching laws. In spite of the Supreme Court’s cracking the whip on mob violence, again a man was lynched in Rajasthan’s Alwar district.
In his dying declaration, Akbar Khan (28) reportedly told the police that he and his friend Aslam (22) were returning home after purchasing two cows when a mob of five men accused them of smuggling cows and started lynching. Akbar died on the way to a hospital and injured Aslam who escaped the attackers admitted in a hospital.
In a similar incident, a dairy farmer Pehlu Khan (55) was lynched also in Alwar in April last year when he was on his way to his home in Haryana after purchasing two cows from a fair.
Ramgarh station house officer Subhash Sharma said that whether Akbar was smuggling cows was yet to be ascertained. But can we justify the action of the murderers even if the victim was indeed a cow smuggler?
Can the people be allowed to take the law in their own hands and run a parallel government? Then is there any bearing in this case to ascertain if the victim was indeed a cow smuggler or not? Similarly, was there any bearing in the Akhlaq murder case to ascertain whether his refrigerator contained beef or mutton and to engage a forensic lab for that purpose?
Street justice shows no regard to the rule of law. Fringe elements have become so emboldened that they dare throw down the gauntlet to the law of the land. There seems to be an unholy nexus between street kangaroos and a section of social media functioning like digital khap panchayets. This needs to be dealt with on war footing.
We cannot let the Mob run a parallel government on the street.