The thrills of Mob violence

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Leader Writer: Kshetrimayum Sopen

With the year to end in another two-three days, and a New-year waiting in the threshold, the time is right for a retrospection of the past year. As in the past years, Manipur and its people witnessed several politically and socially sensitive issues. Among the major issues, one which stood out for its sensitivity during the year to end was mob-violence. The dismantling of houses and other family properties of the persons who are allegedly involved in a rape or murder case is on the rise for the last one decade or so in Manipur. On some occasions, the alleged person was assaulted to the extent of losing his life. And who has done all this things? The answer is obvious – by a mob of the locality.

During the last week of 2013, houses of three involved in the killing of a man in an inebriated stupor were reportedly dismantled by an angry mob. After the dismantlement of the house, the mob further announced through media that the alleged person along with his family members should not be allowed to reside in the locality and socially excommunicated. Here lies an issue of human problem on the part of the family member especially small children other than the alleged person. Where do the family members settle? And the education of the school going children of the family will remain uncertain. In a word, they cannot settle on the trees like the birds do.

This issue has now become serious which necessitated prompt intervention by one and all especially the local club leaders and elders who have the ability to control the mob to a certain extent by diverting the wild energy of the mob to a lesser harm course of action in such a way the plan is unnoticeable to the mob. There could be network of local clubs and socially proactive individuals as the trend is spreading here and there.

And one may ask a question – what is the role of the police. Undoubtedly, it is acceptable that police is instrumental in dispersing mob. Despite this, the presence of police or deployment of police at logistic areas and rushing to a particular spot can control crimes as was happened in the case of kidnapping a school boy from his locality and subsequent abandoning of the boy at Soibam Leikai Wangkhei Khunou near Citizen Club presumably on seeing the deployment of police personnel at Checkon Crossing in Imphal East district.

Here again, one may rise a question – why do people incline to mob formation and take the law into their own hands. The answer is again obvious – people of the state did not rely on the present Indian judiciary system which lacks, according to one report, one plus lakh judges across the country thereby delaying in delivering justice to the deserving citizens of the country.

Meanwhile, it is interesting to remind our esteemed readers a historical event of Manipur happened in 1891 in which Pukhrambam Kajao speared one British Officer which had, historian opines, changed the course of history of Manipur and its people. The action of Kajao had made him a hero of Manipur, although it is said that it was a mob decision which undoubtedly lacks justice.

Furthermore, it is mentionable that a mob has no heart and seldom does justice in any given period of time and place in the history. That is why government authorities impose certain section of penal laws such as Cr PC 144 and even curfew for a period of time so as to avoid unwanted gathering of people in a particular area.

To conclude, etymologically, an army means a group of frogs while a mob means a group of Kangaroos.

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