Mob lynching accused felicitated yet again; emboldening violence

Image source: timesnownews

TCN News

On August 25, the court granted bail to seven persons accused of killing police officer Subodh Kumar Singh and another youth Sumit Kumar on December 3, 2018, in Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh. 

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The seven accused were part of the right-winged group leading the mob to the police outpost where they attacked the police officer and set afire to the police picket. Members of Bajrang dal, VHP and other affiliate groups had brought some cow carcasses which they said were found in a filed in a village alleging that the Muslims, who were having an ijtema (congregation) 40 kms away had slaughtered for food.    

And in their frenzy, they attacked the Inspector who was trying to control the mob, prevent violence and maintain order. Around 70 persons from the mob were booked and later at least 10 were arrested and booked under charges of arson, sedition, murder and causing injury to a public servant. Among the arrested was also a soldier of the Indian Army named Jeetu Fauji along with the leaders from the BJP Youth wing and Bajrang dal conveynor. 

And as soon as the seven accused stepped out of Bulandshahr jail, they were given a hero’s welcome. Their supporters garlanded them whilst chants of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’; ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Vande Mataram’ echoed in the air. These videos have gone viral wherein people thronging to greet these accused and jostling to take selfies with them can be seen. 

Two FIRs were registered and a special investigation team was probing in the matter. But still, no proper evidence of the accused being involved in the killing has been found. 

The SIT (Special Investigation Team) says the accused who have been granted bail were not involved in the murder but arson.

However, this is not the first time that criminals and accused have been thus been honoured, supported and even awarded in India. 

In January 2018, when an 8-year-old girl was gang-raped and murdered in a temple in Kathua, Jammu & Kashmir, a group of people including lawyers and even 2 ministers from the BJP Chaudhary Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga had taken a rally with the tricolour flag supporting the rapists and condemning their arrest. 

And again in the same year in June, Union Minister  Jayant Sinha garlanded 8 men convicted of lynching a coal trader Alimuddin Ansari in Ramgarh. 

While the people accused of lynching Mohammed Akhlaq in 2015 were awarded jobs in the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) in 2017. 

And Dhananjay Desai, the main accused in the lynching of Mohsin Shaikh in 2014; was granted bail by the Bombay High Court on January 2019. No sooner had he come out his supporters and the members of Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) carried out a huge rally from the jail till his residence waving the saffron flag, bursting firecrackers and chanting “Jai Shri Ram”.

Terror accused Pragya Singh has been given a party ticket to contest in the 2019 elections and subsequently became the MP from Bhopal, which again normalises violence against the minorities.

Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh who died in the mob lynching

This recent decision of the court in the Bulandhshahr lynching incident and the subsequent welcome of the accused has shocked citizens who have unwavering faith in the judiciary. 

The widow of Inspector Subodh Singh and son have also expressed their anguish at this development and have requested that the bail be cancelled. In an interview to ‘The Quint’, Rajni Singh, wife of the Inspector said “these people should have been boycotted by the society, instead they are being honoured” while his son Shrey Singh said, “this will only inspire others to commit crimes. And these accused are not a threat to us but to the entire society”. At the same time, he believes that justice will be done. 

Activist Akif Dafedar, based in Mumbai, who is also President of Chatrapathi Shivaji Muslim Brigade, Maharashtra, told said, “This trend of felicitating, celebrating and supporting the accused is disturbing. We saw it in the Kathua rape incident; even in Pehlu Khan lynching the accused were acquitted. And now in Bulandshahr, a government official is lynched and the accused are given bail. And they are celebrated which means that criminals are respected while the innocent people are forced into silence.” 

“To me, all this seems pre-planned. A police inspector has been killed and the accused are granted bail. Not even a senior police officer has expressed sorrow or shock over this. They are not even standing for their colleague which is not a good sign. If criminals are treated with such honour then it is like encouraging crime which is bad for the society and the whole nation.” 

He also said if the accused were Muslims the entire case proceedings would be different.  

Dr Lubna Sarwat, Member, Socialist party (India) based in Hyderabad, said, the SIT has “submitted such a shabby report that the accused have been granted bail. An honest police officer has been lynched, instead of cracking down the case and ensuring the criminals are punished, the charge sheet should have been thus that there should not have been any scope for granting of bail.” 

She also came down heavily on the UP deputy Chief Minister, KP Maurya who said that the welcome and honour given to the accused is by the supporters and well-wishers of the accused and that it has nothing to do with the government or BJP. 

“Why is he talking on behalf of the BJP, justifying that the party is not involved in these celebrations? What justice has the government given to the family of an officer who has laid down his life for his duty? He is not representing the party but the Government.” she said. 

Kashif Raza Siddiqui, leader of Bahujan Kranti Morcha, Jharkhand said, “The judgments these days in many cases seem biased and perhaps even influenced by certain factors”.

Dr Jawahirulla, President of Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MKM) said, “Bulandshahr incident wherein a police inspector was lynched by a mob of 400 people is gruesome. There were axe-wielding men in the mob who chopped off his fingers, hit his head and despite these injuries, the Inspector was trying to control the mob, he was shot dead.” 

“The CM of UP had ordered the SIT to investigate the matter which led to the arrest of Shekhar Agarwal, Upendra Raghav and others all associated with BJP. There was a 3400 pages case diary, 103 pages of charge sheet against the accused. And now they are out on bail. This is what is happening in Modiji’s new India. The accused in Pehlu Khan’s murderer have been left off despite the evidence in the video recordings. The days of Justice are withering away and our confidence in getting justice is shattered.”