• Monday, Dec 09, 2019
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There is nothing just about mob lynchings

  • Published at 12:00 am July 23rd, 2019
Gavel and Hammer
Photo: BIGSTOCK

This is not the sort of behaviour you expect from members of a civilized society

To call incidents of individuals being subjected to violent lynching at the hands of civilian groups “mob justice” flies in the face of the very concept of justice.

Recently, the nation has been witnessing an alarming rise of such incidents, where innocent civilians have been beaten -- some to their demise -- by random groups of people over uninformed accusations.

Incidents such as the single mother in the capital’s Badda area, who was beaten to death in front of a school by a mob because of unfounded suspicions of being a kidnapper -- when, in reality, she had been there to inquire about the school’s admission process. Or the separate incident where five people were lynched mercilessly for similar, again unfounded, accusations.

This is not the sort of behaviour you expect from members of a civilized society, where the rule of law is supposed to prevail above all. What is worse is the inaction of the law enforcers who were present at the scene, but did absolutely nothing to intervene in these situations.

While the unruly behaviour of the mobs is absolutely worth all the condemnation one can muster, make no mistake, this was primarily a failure of our law enforcement.

The police have a sworn duty to protect the people, and while it is good to know that several people involved in the beatings have been brought to book, their initial inaction came at the cost of innocent lives being lost to misinformation and paranoia.

This has to stop.

While there is no way to predict mob lynchings, it does not justify the police’s inaction to prevent them before they get out of hand.

For a nation that is on the precipice of achieving all of its development goals, this is the sort of unruly behaviour that threatens to drag us back to the dark ages.

We cannot allow that to happen.