IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Mob Lynching

22nd December, 2021 Society


  • The Union Home Ministry informed that the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) collected data on mob lynching, hate crimes and cow vigilantism in 2017 but it was discontinued as the data were unreliable because these crimes are not defined.

Steps taken by Government to Check Mob Lynching:

  • The government through audiovisual media has also generated public awareness to curb the menace of mob lynching.
  • The government has sensitised the service providers to take steps to check the propagation of false news and rumours having potential to incite mob violence and lynching.

Reasons for rising mob lynching

  • Poor Implementation of minority’s laws: An act of lynching reflects failure of law to protect minorities and punish the culprits. State action is important in strict enforcement of law and punishing the culprits.
  • No law on mob lynching: There is no comprehensive law on mob lynching in India. This allow culprit to go free unpunished.
  • Lack of accountability and conviction: Mob has no face. This impunity leads mob to take extreme steps. Thus community and state role increase to stop such crimes. Active participation of civil society against such crimes and helping state and law enforcement agencies in nabbing the criminal is critical.
  • Vote-bank politics:Sometimes, political mobilisation that uses violence as a tool of politics, support such elements in society. Here community awareness and action against such politicians become necessary to prevent such vote bank politics.
  • Police failure: Indifferent attitude of Police leads people to take law in their own hands. Also police delays and inability to catch the criminals lead to more such incidents. State should be more proactive in police reforms. Strict action should be taken against any police officials who do not record such incidents in criminal records.
  • Social media menace:Rise in penetration of Social media and its usage to spread rumours and hatred has exaggerated such incidents. A vigil community with state action on taking action against cyber criminals is must to prevent fake news and rumours.
  • High Unemployment rates: High unemployment leave millions of youth unengaged. These young brains are often misguided and brainwashed through various ideologies and agendas. State action is important to provide more employment opportunities to youth with focus on economic development of the region.
  • Against social peace:These crimes impact solidarity of society and idea of Unity in diversity. This create an atmosphere of majority v/s minority. It could aggravate caste, class and communal hatred. Thus community and state need to work together to stop such crimes. Programs especially focused on teaching values of tolerance and secularism is important.

SC guidelines:

  • There shall be a “separate offence” for lynching and the trial courts must ordinarily award maximum sentence upon conviction of the accused person to set a stern example in cases of mob violence.
  • The state governments will have to designate a senior police officer in each district for taking measures to prevent incidents of mob violence and lynching.
  • The state governments need to identify districts, sub-divisions and villages where instances of lynching and mob violence have been reported in the recent past.
  • The nodal officers shall bring to the notice of the DGP about any inter-district co-ordination issues for devising a strategy to tackle lynching and mob violence related issues.
  • Every police officer shall ensure to disperse the mob that has a tendency to cause violence in the disguise of vigilantism or otherwise.
  • Central and the state governments shall broadcast on radio, television and other media platforms about the serious consequences of mob lynching and mob violence.
  • Despite the measures taken by the State Police, if it comes to the notice of the local police that an incident of lynching or mob violence has taken place, the jurisdictional police station shall immediately lodge an FIR.
  • The State Governments shall prepare a lynching/mob violence victim compensation scheme in the light of the provisions of Section 357A of CrPC within one month from the date of this judgment.
  • If a police officer or an officer of the district administration fails to full-fill his duty, it will be considered an act of deliberate negligence.

Sociology of lynching cases:

  • The victims are always those living on the margins of the society.
  • The cow-vigilantes are motivated by an urge to impose hegemony of values and cultural homogeneity, by obfuscating diverse practices and beliefs.
  • They dare to defy the process of law, as their acts are powered by majoritarian sentiments.
  • This is not an issue within the narrow confines of law and order; it plays out on a broader canvass of socio-cultural dynamics.
  • It is the tussle between rule of law and belief-systems.
  • It is the friction between the privileges of the mainstream and the struggles of survival by the marginalized.


Legal Framework

  • Rajasthan and Manipur has made a law to curtail these hate crimes.

Basic features of the law:

  • Definition: It covers any act of violence, whether spontaneous or planned, by a mob on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary practices, sexual orientation, political affiliation or ethnicity. And two persons are enough to constitute a ‘mob’.
  • Provisions:
    • Compensation worth Rs. 5 Lakh to the victim
    • Punishable with life imprisonment

Such type of laws should be made at Pan India level curbing the mob violence in the nub.