Catching up after 20 years : No justice in ‘mob justice’

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The proverbial long arm of the law catching up.

Crime committed back in 1997 and the accused convicted in 2017 and sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment and herein lies the profundity of the ‘long arm of the law’ phrase.

It was 20 years ago that a mob gathered, targeted a particular family, assaulted them and then went about setting their properties on fire and in the process even prevented Fire Brigade personnel and Lamsang police personnel from reaching the site of the arson and violence.

Not surprisingly, out of the 28 persons convicted to two years RI, there are 19 women and this should tell the story of how womenfolk have increasingly become under the notion of dispensing their perverted sense of justice and ‘mob justice’ as widely known is nothing short of a corrupted and perverted sense of delivering justice, albeit by allowing a mob or a group of incensed people to do what they want mostly as retribution.

The Sangai Express does not have the details of how the mob gathered and on what purported grounds the family was attacked and their properties set on fire, but what happened way back in 1997 should serve as a reminder to all that such a mindset is still alive and kicking in the mentality of the people today too.

One of those rare moments when the Court has come out so strongly against the all pervading mob justice that has come to define society in Manipur and if not for anything else, it is this which should be hailed.

There may be many reasons why mob culture has taken such a firm root in society today.

It may be the deep erosion of people’s faith in the State mechanism to set things right.

It may be the long time it actually takes to deliver justice.

But what justice is there when a group of people gather, take the law into their own hands and decide to punish someone who they proclaim has committed some crime.

A question which every sane person should raise.

In delivering the verdict, the District and Sessions Court has underlined the point that no matter how long it takes, the arm of the law will definitely catch up with any wrong doers and there is something beautiful in this.

The properties burnt in the arson by the mob twenty years back will not return so also the deep hurt inflicted when the members of the particular family were assaulted.

However sending the accused to jail, that too rigorous imprisonment, for a period of two years should go some way in soothing frayed nerves.

Let this be also a lesson to all that no one has the right to take the law into one’s own hand and there is no justice at all in the term, ‘mob justice’.

Let the punishment in other similar cases be also similar and swift.

Source: The Sangai Express

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