Thursday, August 19, 2004

taking the law in your hands ... is it ok?

sounds like a cliched dialogue from a hindi movie, doesn't it? kaanoon ko apane haath me.n mat lo blah blah blah ...

but something lke that happened in nagpur last weekend, when an undertrial (a notorious character charged with 20+ counts of extortion, murder etc.) was lynched to death by a mob comprising mostly of women, while in police custody, and inside a courthouse complex ... i heard the story earlier today eve1ning on NPR's all things considered (click here to hear the story) - it turns out that it was a premeditated attack on the goon ... the 5 women arrested were let out on bail today.

its true that these folks were quite disillusioned with the justice system and the courts and police .... but it still is murder to just lynch someone in a premeditated attack. i know the obvious reaction - its easy for me to say all this ... i totally agree, but that does that justify killing that thug? if everyone started doing this, it would be anarchy pretty soon ... wonder what others think about this ....


Anonymous said...

Absolutely not. One crime cannot justify another. What is this, jungle law?

I can understand the frustration and rationale behind what these women did. However, that doesn't mean they should be condoned. They should be tried for premeditated murder, just like ANY other criminals. We can't justify one crime and punish another. First, thats hypocrisy. Second, what if the accused was actually not guilty. Third, if this is condoned, wouldn't someone who wants to kill another person just accuse the other of a heinous crime, kill that person in police custody and claim he be condoned as well.

Its a sorry state of affairs. The same argument also goes for encounters. Any extrajudicial killings CANNOT be justified.

- Niket

SBR said...

I agree with your point that what the women did was unjustified. However, there is a different way to look at it also. I think, it is high time, that we started looking at the crimes against women more seriously, than we have been looking at it. A large number of crimes against women usually don't come much in open, due to the so-called stigma attached to it. And, given the probability that a criminal who is involved in such a heinous crime would be ever caught and booked, let alone punished, that person would be encouraged more to perform such acts.

I feel that it should be an eye-opener for the authorities to take this issue seriously. For that matter, many such women's related issues have been subdued just because a large part of India still remains a male-dominated society. Issues such as denail to right to choose, dowry, abuse, etc. are still rampant and run through all cross-sections of the society.


Prashant said...

what if this lynching was planned by an opposing criminal underworld don?

Nobody knows the real intentions of the people who committed the crime of murdering him. Just because they were women who went on with this lynching does not excuse their crime, irrespective of what the accused had or had not committed.

Absolutely arrest those involved in this lynching and try them for murder in cold blood!!!

Anonymous said...

"there is a different way to look at it also."I strongly disagree. There isn't a different way to look at it. Any crime can't justify another. Yes, circumstances have to be taken into consideration when making a judgement. For example, if you are being assaulted, and you end up killing the other person in self defence. Law provides for such situations... it also tries to see if a homicide is culpable or non-culpable, if an act was premeditated or "in the spur of the moment." None of these try to justify a crime; they aim to bring out the crime under circumstances in which it was committed. A suspected criminal killed by a mob vs a hardened criminal killed by a mob will perhaps be looked upon differently by the court. But all those decisions should take place within the parameters provided by law.

"I feel that it should be an eye-opener for the authorities"Absolutely.
The fact that a large percentage of people actually support this act of lynching clearly indicates that we have reached a situation beyond "something needs to be changed." A LOT needs to change, we need to wake up from our chalta hai attitude. Its true for the entire society.

- Niket

Aditya said...

thanks niket/prashant/SBR for airing your views. i agree totally - there simply cannot be any justification of the lynching. we might as well forget about due process and the courts - jungle law is the term

here is the progress of the story:
Accused women lose their jobsand
400 women to surrender

Anonymous said...

Irrespective of what I have said (and I stand by every word of it), I laud these women.
- Niket