Stop taking law into your own hands | 2019-07-23

Stop taking law into your own hands

23 July, 2019 12:00 AM printer

We are alarmed to note that lynching has suddenly increased manifold following a rumour that “human heads will be required to construct Padma Bridge”. And then what fuelled the rumour is the lynching of a youth in Netrokona for carrying severed head of child in his backpack. Since then, in the last four days, mobs in different parts of the country have brutally lynched at least seven people to death and injured 15 on suspicion of child kidnapper. Sadly, it appeared that almost all of the subsequent victims – women, mentally imbalanced and elderly – were innocent.

Whatever the facts that led to the recent lynching incidents, the murderous mob must face the consequences of taking the law into their own hands.

Police have already filed a case against 500 people in Badda, Dhaka for lynching a woman who went to a local school to inquire about its admission process to get her child admitted there. Out of utter shame and shock, some of the guardians of students of the school through her of child kidnapper and spread the rumor. Before long, hundreds of people gathered and dragged her out of the school principal’s room and beat her to death!

On the same day, a mob in Narayanganj lynched a man on suspicion of kidnapping his own 7-year-old daughter due to his speech disorder.

This sort of act of brutal violence is happening at a chilling pace across the country. In order to rein in the outbreak of mass lynching, the authorities must move swiftly to hammer home the message that violence in the name of vigilante justice is against the law and will not be tolerated. Even if the victims are guilty of their alleged crime, police must not let the mob go off the hook, so that others don’t get inspired.

The mob in Netrokona, who apparently killed a criminal, should also be brought to book, because their action undermined the rule of law. The expected response from a mob could be at beast a citizen’s arrest until police arrive and take charge of the situation. There is a reason that due process of rule of law exists, and none should undermine that due process.