The horrific lynching of a rape accused in Dimapur has once again demonstrated the monstrous character of vigilante justice and mob violence. A huge crowd broke into the Central Jail, pulled the accused out, thrashed him mercilessly into pulp, tied his ked body to a motorcycle and dragged it through the streets. Filly the body was hung from the Clock Tower at the heart of the town, in scenes reminiscent of medieval barbarity. The incident has sent shock waves throughout the country with the Centre seeking a report from the galand government. A probe has been ordered and several senior officials put under suspension. But the incident raises several troubling questions. The man had been lodged in jail on court’s orders after an FIR was lodged recently, accusing him of rape. He was neither convicted, nor any chargesheet was filed against him. Even the rape accusation is yet to be medically proven, and there are doubts about the veracity of other accusations, including the allegation that the man was a Bangladeshi infiltrator. Yet the man was virtually tried by a public court, and executed in a most horrific manner. What if the man was actually innocent or was framed? Everyone has the right to be tried by the law of the land, and no innocent person can be punished even if a hundred guilty go free. The slow pace of justice in the country may breed impatience, but vigilante justice cannot be its substitute. The dark and dangerous ture of mob psychology is well-known, in the grip of which individuals perpetrate unimagible horrors. This is something the administrative machinery must nip in the bud, which the Dimapur administration failed to do. The allegations of police complicity need to be probed.
Medieval Barbarity Revisited