26-Yr-Old Lynched In Manipur On Suspicion Of Car Theft, Armed Policemen Kept Watching
In another case of lynching, a 26-year-old man was beaten to death in Manipur's Imphal West district on September 13 after he was accused of stealing a vehicle by local residents. Five people have been arrested so far in relation with the crime which includes a personnel of India Reserve Battalion (IRB).
Farooque Khan, an MBA graduate from Lilong Haoreibi in Thoubal district, was attacked by a mob when he was in a car with two others. The mob also destroyed the car. The accused have been booked under relevant sections of IPC 302 (murder), 117 (abetting commission of offence by public or by more than ten people) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention). A city court has remanded them to police custody for four days, reported The Indian Express.
13 people involved in lynching
Imphal West Superintendent of Police, Jogeschandra Haobijam said that 13 people were involved in the crime and only five have been arrested yet. They are on the lookout for the other accused and assured that they would be nabbed soon. He also said that the two others Farooque was with, had managed to flee the scene. They too have been identified.
In the videos that have now gone viral, it can be seen that Farooque asked for water and the locals standing around him said, "You have come all the way to steal so why are you asking for water?" Mohammad Mujibur Rehman, a relative of Khan, dishearted by inhumanity said, "This was the kind of barbarism shown by the killers. One of the videos show Farooque asking for water in a whisper and this is what his attackers told him."
A joint action committee (JAC) formed by residents of Lilong Haoreibi said that Farooque is an MBA graduate and was out to meet a friend. He was also an entrepreneur, who had a restaurant and had recently taken a loan under a government scheme to expand his business. He came back to Manipur in 2016 after completing his MBA. Rehman, a member of the JAC, said, "They kept on hitting him even after he was dead — as you can see from the videos. He was mocked by the attackers while he breathed his last."
Residents of Tharoijamon, to counter the arrests and the action taken in the case, took out a protest. They demanded the immediate release of the five arrested. These protesters threw stones at the policemen injuring some. The officer-in-charge was injured in the attack. The police had to fire tear gas at them.
Manipur DIG Jayanta Singh urged people not to take law in their own hands and told them that the police would not succumb to the pressure of the mob. "The duty of the police is to enforce the law and maintain order. The culprits were arrested for their involvement in attacking the youths. It is up to the court to decide whether the arrested persons are guilty or not," Singh said.
Police present during lynching
Three days after the incident of lynching came to light, a video surfaced on the internet which showed that policemen were present at the site of the lynching when the victim was still alive. Sources claimed that the police reached the spot after getting a tip about the lynching but their vehicles were blocked by locals. They finally reached the village on foot. Imphal West SP Jogeschandra Haobijam told The Indian Express, "Four Manipur police personnel, including one sub-inspector, who were at the spot, have been suspended on Sunday."
DIG Singh said that strong action will be taken against them and an inquiry has been initiated.
The Logical Indian take
Slowly, the country is becoming a nation of mob lynchers as the 'law and order' fails, similar to the above incident where people beat the guy to death while armed policemen are mute spectators. The mob now believes that it has the impunity to take the law into its own hand.
We need stringent punishments against those who resort to such acts of violence. To uphold the safety of citizens, law and order need to be established. In the meanwhile, people from all strata of life need to be educated and made aware of the evils of discrimination on the basis of caste or creed.