WOULD THE FELICITATION OF ACCUSED FOR MOB VOILENCE BE BROUGHT UNDER THE LAW ? - BY: MASOOD PESHIMAM

The felicitation or feting of the mobs killing the people on one pretext or the other and the alleged criminals in the communal violence is not acceptable. The situation of the lynching the people on the pretext of fake news or otherwise grew quite in impunity with the sharpening communal polarisation post Modi phenomenon and the weak justice delivery system. The situation is further aggravated when the suspects or otherwise are felicitated or feted by the powerful in the corridors of power. It is the blatant and most flagrant misuse of power.

Attuned to this murky scenario it was Jayant Sinha, the Union Minister for state for Civil Aviation and BJP from Hazaribagh has no compunction in felicitating the accused in the murder case of one Alimuddin. The accused numbering 11 were sentenced to life imprisonment. There was all round satisfaction with the verdict. However notwithstanding the verdict the new development emerged when the High Court suspended the verdict and released the accused on bail. The union Civil Aviation Minster at his residence garlanded the accused and they were all felicitated on being bailed out.

The news of the felicitation of the alleged murderers travelled fast which triggered agony and anger all over. There was the all round condemnation and deploring of the jubilation of the tragedy. Sensing the rising anger and agony he went giving explanations saving his skin.

As this was not enough, similar incident occurred in the neighbouring Bihar where another Central Minister Giriraj Singh who went to the jail displayed his sympathy for the alleged criminals who were in the jail for inciting the communal passions. While displaying the sense of sympathy the BJP Minister broke down. There is nothing wrong in expressing emotions for the people with whom one tries to make a common cause but not the criminalís alleged or otherwise and more so such practice is not expected to be indulged into by the Central Minister. Those expressing emotion or shedding tears for some event tragic or otherwise are treated weak but the fact of the matter is that they are strong as it is their sensitivity which finds an outlet. Sensitivity is an asset of personality. Sensitivity can make a person share some oneís agony and help him or her. In the case of criminals the agony is not worth sympathy or compassion. It is not understood as to what sort of agonising situation which made Giriraj Singh shed the tears. The Central Minister breaking down may be real but the thriving of sympathy for the suspects is rather questionable. Instead the victims of communal violence deserve sympathy or the compassion. However in our Country the situation is otherwise as the victims of the unfortunate incidents are further flogged by the communal political culture which lends justification to victimise the victim himself or herself. The support to the alleged culprits for the wrong reasons reflect poorly on the government under which the atrocities against Muslims culminating into the brutal murder by lynching mobs in the name of Cow Vigilantism have gone unrestrained.

Even the prime Minister spoke against the mob violence. He also shared his sympathy for Muslim women but did nothing to restrain the spread of mob violence in which Muslim males were brutally murdered. His stoic silence against the members of his Party or Cabinet who felicitated and feted the alleged lynching criminals is question in itself. His show of sympathy for the Muslim women from the house top and not restraining the members of his party is a paradox in itself. Against this backdrop his show of sympathy for Muslim women is open to dispute.
The incidents involving Jayant sinha and Giriraj Singh are not the isolated phenomena. Such disorders have become the order of the day. The situation plagued by the extreme prejudice canít be expected to improve with the nice sounding sophistry. The murky situation remains when the government speaks by yards and act not even by inches.

It was Dadri in U.P. where Mohammad Akhlaque was brutally murdered on the suspicion of storing the beef which later on proved to be false. The BJP leader Sanju Balian mounted the campaign of support for the accused. Strange enough, one accused who died in the prison was draped in the Tricolour.

Recently in Khatua where very brutal murder of the minor girl who was most traumatically raped, the BJP Ministers in the Former Mehbooba Mufti government took out the rally in support of the accused. The gruesome incident sparked the outrage the world over.

In the same period at Unnao in U.P. a BJP Minister and his accomplices were allegedly involved in rape which later on culminated into the father of rape victim beaten to death. The gruesome incident would have remained under the carpet had it not been exposed by the media. In Unnao the same sympathy card was played for the BJP MLA allegedly involved in the rape.

The aggressive agenda of killing the Muslims or some other weaker class and sometimes victimising the Dalits has gone unabated thus pandering to the basest instinct. The incidents galore with the inability of the Government to protect the victims.

It is said that the recurrent incidents of brutal violence is part of the ploy to reap the political dividends in the General Election of 2019. Sustaining the deliberately created communal polarization to the feverish intensity would benefit the communal forces. The cosmetic words are no match for brutal cow vigilantism or violence for some cooked up reasons.

The moot question is how this communal celebrations encouraging and provoking the criminal actions can be brought under the ambit of law. Causing provocation to make someone act is culpable and can be brought under the strong arm of law? However, determining the purview or ambit of law what is required is an iota of evidence between the words uttered and the gruesome incident and despite the concern of law for the iota of evidence the cases are slapped against the persons in which there is no direct evidence involved in the allegedly inflammatory utterances and the criminal incident. However it is the question of applying the different criteria to the different situations.

In the case of Jayant Sinha it is said that the accused in Jharkhand brutally killing are not pronounced guilty. The dictum is quoted that a person is innocent till he is found guilty which is spoken from the house top. How can we explain the Police slapping the Chapter Cases against the accused when he or she is not guilty though for the different reasons.

How can we explain the recent Haryana Government directive which announced that driving and weapon licenses of the accused in rape and molestation cases would be suspended while they would also be barred from government facilities like old age pension and pension for disabled persons.

The dictum that the person is innocent till found guilty is open to dispute. The proper course of interpretation would be that the person is neither innocent nor guilty. The accused is to be painted neither angel nor devil. In the name of innocence the accused canít be upstaged.

The very move of the Khattar Government to bar the facilities is fraught with the danger as what about false allegation of rape or molestation. The offence of rape is committed without her consent or will, it is at stage of trial that the question of consent or otherwise would be proved. In the case of molestation i.e. section 354 is applied which says that assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty. The allegation of molestation is open to gross misuse.

What would the Khattar Government do when at times his party members have come in the support of the alleged rapists. Besides, would the Khattar Government confine itself to the offences of the rape and molestation or cover other offences to disqualify the benefits of the Government.

Is it not an appeasement of women? However the move of the Khattar Government is not our subject at the moment. Our subject is the support to the lynching incident which is a greater cause of concern whatever may be the political reasons. The belligerent and aggressive defence of the accused and their celebration would give the celebrity status to the accused thus endangering the social harmony more so with the communal pot boiling in the election year. The million dollar question is would the law enforcing agencies show the courage to restrain the erratic behaviour of the accused when the accused acquires the celebrity status. The forces out to polarise the society have scant regards for the law and would the forces out to polarise the society not hamper the law taking its own course?

All said and done it is not out of context to quote the noted Economist Amartya Sen who said that the Modi Government has taken the quantum jump but in the wrong direction. What is undisputed is the fact that the economic progress canít be achieved without the stability of the social harmony and for social harmony the present bleak scenario of mob violence needs to be brought under control.

Posted on Jul 20, 18 | 7:38 am