Mob Lynching Reaches Gujarat; 40-Yr-Old Woman Killed On Suspicion Of Being A Kidnapper
Fake messages on WhatsApp have claimed another victim, this time in Gujarat. A 40-year-old woman was lynched by a senseless mob on suspicion of being a child-lifter in Ahmedabad’s Vadaj area on June 26.
Shanta Devi, a woman from Rajasthan was in an autorickshaw with three other women, when they were chased by a mob and then brutally thrashed. The others are still in Ahmedabad Civil Hospital and are getting treated for their injuries, reported The Indian Express.
A complaint has been filed by the victim’s sister-in-law, Ansi. In the complaint, she wrote that Shanta, Ashu and Leela left their relative’s home in Sardarnagar area to seek alms. “Around 2.25 PM, we took an autorickshaw at Naranpura crossing and headed towards Juna Wadaj. At that time, we saw some people chasing our autorickshaw, and at Wadaj circle they stopped us,” the complainant told the police.
According to her, the mob shouted “tame balak uthavi lavi java vali gang cho (you are the gang of child-lifters)”. They then dragged them out of the auto and beat them. The auto was also damaged, but the auto driver was spared.
The auto driver said, “People attacked the autorickshaw and started beating up the women, shouting at them to come out. When the women didn’t come out, they started dragging them out of the vehicle.” The police wriggled inside the crowd and rescued the women. By the time an ambulance came, the mob had disappeared.
Police said that a case of murder has been lodged and investigations are on to identify the accused. “We have sought the help of media to counter, rumour mongering. We will take strict legal action against anybody indulging in that,” Ahmedabad Police Commissioner A K Singh said.
The Logical Indian Take
‘Lynch’– The Oxford dictionary defines the word ‘lynching’ as a mob killing someone by thrashing, for an alleged crime without a legal trial.
In the past two months, dozens of people have been brutally beaten to death across the country. Men and women, Hindus and Muslims, young and the old, no one was spared from the hands of an angry mob. Most of them because of a rumour of child abductors going berserk and kidnapping children and killing them. While it is understandable that for people from rural India, it is hard to distinguish between genuine and fake news, it is surprising that the so-called “educated” urban mass is also falling prey to this.
The content on WhatsApp is mostly user-generated. They are neither scrutinised (the way news is) nor is it verified. Any photos or videos can be posted putting any context. In the last one month, there have been seven instances of goons taking law into their own hands and becoming murderers.
So many awareness programmes have been held across the country, urging people not to believe in WhatsApp forwards. There have been press conferences and also awareness is being raised on some social media sites asking people not to believe in all these. This shows that it is easier to spread fake news than the truth.
Firstly, the news about the child kidnappers is fake. It started in Telangana and like a wildfire spread across the country resulting in the death of 15 innocent people. Ask your family and friends to not believe in all these rumours. Do your part in spreading awareness about the issue, so that another innocent person does not have to lose their life. Do not be a part of the mob that takes the liberty of ending someone’s life.
This brings us to the second point. Nobody is allowed to take law into their own hands just because they think the person on the receiving end of the blows has committed a crime. It is illegal in India and a punishable offence. Please, refrain from being part of the mob and be a part of the solution. Inform people that mob lynchings are a crime. In most cases, the perpetrators have been arrested. So, if they do not even care about human rights or the person whom they are lynching, they should not do it at least for their own sake, to keep themselves out of jail.
The police have been doing their part in most cases but innocent lives are still being lost. However, law and order situation needs to be improved if these goons can commit these crimes with such impunity.