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No more mob lynchings

  • Published at 12:00 am August 28th, 2019
Badda mob lynching-Mahmud Hossain Opu
Holding placards, protesters form a human chain in front of National Press Club in Dhaka on Friday, July 26, 2019 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Enforcing our laws may help end mob violence

People in Bangladesh taking the laws in their hands is nothing new. But the recent mob lynchings have made us rethink it as a security issue. In the recent past, mob lynchings have become a recurring incident.

In recent days, nine people were killed by mobs on suspicion of being child abductors in 26 incidents in different parts of the country. Mob beatings have recently taken place in 16 districts, leaving 44 others injured and so far, 103 persons have been detained and 31 cases filed in connection to these incidents.

However, among many of the mob lynching incidents, the incident of the Badda lynching was the most tragic, as an innocent mother lost her life. Following that, a lawyer filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court seeking Tk5cr in compensation. 

As students of law, we have been asked whether mass beatings are murders or not. 

We initially said that it was definitely a punishable offense. 

But to develop a keener insight into this matter, we looked into it more and tried to find out a more specific answer.

We found that if a person dies due to mob lynching, it will be treated as murder under Section 302 of the penal code.  

If the person does not die, it will be tried under Section 323, 325,326 of the penal code for voluntarily causing hurt, and the punishment will be seven years imprisonment under Section 325 or imprisonment for life, or imprisonment of either description for a term will be given and the perpetrator shall also be liable to fine. 

People who take part in these lynchings would also be punished under Section 34 of the penal code for common intention, and each person would be liable for the act in the same manner as if it were done by themselves.  

How can we decrease the rate of mob lynching? 

If anything suspicious occurs before the people, they should take the help of police or call the national emergency line 999. It shall be the duty of every police officer to disperse a mob. 

The government should broadcast on radio and television and other media platforms, including the official websites, that lynching and mob violence shall invite serious consequences.

Besides that, the government should ensure that there is no further harassment of the family members of the victims. 

Additionally the NGOs that especially work on human rights can play their role by building community awareness. The government may not be responsible for the atrocities done by mobs. 

However, the government cannot avoid the responsibility to ensure justice, and to set precedents by taking the cases of mob lynchings which should be specifically tried by the designated court or fast track courts.

Also, the trial should preferably be concluded within the shortest possible time. 

In the end, it is worth mentioning that these extra-judicial killings cannot be accepted. Without any shred of doubt, we can surely expect to decrease the rate of mob lynchings by applying our prudence. λ

Shahriar Bin Wares and Samiul Azim are students of law