Mob ‘justice’

Published July 4, 2022

OVER the past few days, a string of deadly incidents has been reported from Karachi in which enraged mobs have lynched individuals over allegations of their involvement in criminal activities. Moreover, most of the incidents have been reported from one particular area of the metropolis: Orangi Town and its peripheries. Last Tuesday, a mob got hold of a suspect, shot him and set him on fire after the victim had apparently shot a citizen during a robbery attempt. A few days earlier, two suspects were lynched under similar circumstances, though relatives of the men claimed they were innocent. Meanwhile, early in June, two men met the same grisly end after a mob caught up with them following a reported robbery incident. These shocking episodes reflect a highly disturbing trend which needs to be curbed immediately before the law of the jungle starts to prevail in this unwieldy city.

While violent street crime is a valid concern and citizens are on edge, such instances of vigilante justice should simply not be tolerated. This is especially so when incidents have occurred in the past of people being lynched after being accused of involvement in a crime, only for it to emerge afterwards that they were murdered due to personal vendettas. Considering that the recent lynchings have occurred in the same area, police need to be on alert, while those involved in this vigilantism must face the law. Moreover, the fact is that in order to prevent such barbaric acts from happening, the police must seriously improve their performance where law enforcement is concerned. While mischievous elements do try to exploit the situation and settle scores, if the general public saw that the police was more active in nabbing and punishing criminals, perhaps they would hand suspects over to the law enforcers instead of delivering ‘justice’ themselves. There can be no space for lynchings in a civilised society and law-enforcement officials need to confront this ugly trend before it results in further lawlessness.

Published in Dawn, July 4th, 2022

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