No justice at all in mob justice Taking law into one’s hand

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Mob uprising. The other term mob justice is a sort of a misnomer, for there is nothing that remotely resembles justice when a mob takes the law into its own hand and lynches someone or destroys the properties of a suspect. Manipur is not new to such ugly incidents happening in the past and there is nothing to suggest that the people have learnt a lesson or two so that the future will be anything better.

On the other hand the anger of the people is understandable. The twin murder on May 30 in which a young pregnant woman and her mother were killed at Uripok Bachaspati Leikai in Imphal had all the bearings of a ghastly murder. The two were found with their throat slit and it was a blood curdling sight to see the blood soaked room and the blood stained bodies of the two women.

The Sangai Express did not publish the bloody pictures of the two women, for that would have amounted to shocking the sensibilities of the readers, but the crime was ghastly, no doubt about it at all. What is also appalling is to see the reaction of the mob yesterday (June 4), wherein the angry people dismantled the house of the suspect. It is still not clear who the murderer was but that did not stop the mob from marching towards the residence of the suspect and after over powering the few cops on duty managed to dismantle the house of the suspect. This cannot be called justice by any stretch of the imagination. At best the act of vandalism may have addressed the anger of some people, but it also stands that quite a number of people too would have been appalled with the manner in which the mob took the law into its own hands and dismantled the house of the suspect.

It is here that the media in Manipur too need to be a little more sensitive. Chief Minister N Biren while announcing that a suspect has been pulled up did not divulge the name of the suspect. There is a reason why the Chief Minister did not disclose the name of the suspect. A point which was overlooked by some while filing the report on the follow up story of the twin murder. It was most probably through the media that the crowd came to know about the identity of the suspect. It is with a reason why the names of juveniles are not published in any crime case and given the situation in Manipur, it may not be a good idea at all to make public the identity of suspects, especially suspects in brutal murder cases.

If at all there is a lesson to be learnt from what happened on June 4, it is this. This should not be taken as hiding information from the readers or public, but exercising one’s discretion for the greater good of society. Now that a suspect has been rounded up, it is only expected that the department/s concerned take the case to its logical conclusion, by building up a strong case so that it stands the legal test in the Court of law. This would be justice but important to remember that this justice is not mistaken for street justice.

Source: The Sangai Express

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