Mob lynching

Mob lynching

This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details “Mob lynching”. The topic “Mob lynching” has relevance in the Security section of the UPSC CSE exam.

For Prelims:

About Mob lynching?

For Mains:

GS 3: Security 

Causes of Mob Lynching?

Government Initiatives to Prevent Lynching?

Way Forward?

Why in the news:

The Supreme Court has ordered the automatic registration of FIRs under Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with promoting enmity between different groups. Additionally, the Court instructed states to establish a compensation scheme for victims of lynching or mob violence.

Mob lynching

Mob lynching refers to acts of collective violence carried out by a large group of individuals, targeting a person or property, based on a belief that the victim has committed some perceived wrongdoing. The mob takes the law into their own hands, bypassing legal procedures and disregarding the principles of justice.


Statistics Related to Lynching in India:

Data from 2010 to 2017 compiled by India Spend on Cow-Linked Violence in India:

  • During the specified period, there were 63 incidents of cow-linked violence resulting in the loss of 28 lives.
  • About 97% of these attacks occurred after 2014, showing a significant increase in recent years.
  • Around 86% of the victims were Muslims, indicating a specific religious community being targeted.

Causes of Mob Lynching:

Various factors contribute to mob lynching incidents:


    • Perceived Threat to Culture or Identity: Actions or behaviors seen as challenging traditional norms can provoke mob violence.
    • Rumors and Misinformation: Incidents are often triggered by baseless rumors or misinformation spread through social media and word of mouth.
    • Economic and Social Tensions: Disputes over resources and economic opportunities may escalate into violent confrontations.
  • Political Interests and Agendas: Political motivations and interests can incite and fuel mob lynching incidents. Some groups or individuals may use mob violence as a means to further their political agenda or gain support.
  • Moral Vigilantism: Self-appointed moral vigilantes may enforce their interpretation of social norms through violence.

Issues Related to Mob Lynching:

  • Violation of Human Dignity and Rights: Mob lynching violates human dignity, infringing upon Article 21 of the Constitution and the principles outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • Violation of Right to Equality: Lynching incidents often target specific religious or social groups, violating the right to equality (Articles 14 and 15).
  • Lack of Legal Framework: Mob lynching is not explicitly classified as murder in the Indian Penal Code, posing challenges in addressing such crimes.

Supreme Court Observation in Tahseen Poonawala Case:

In the case of Tahseen s. Poonawala v. UOI, the Supreme Court characterized mob lynching as a ‘horrendous act of mobocracy,’ while emphasizing the state’s responsibility to safeguard the lives of its citizens.


Supreme Court’s Remedial Directions:

The Supreme Court issued seven remedial directions to address mob lynching incidents, including the appointment of a designated nodal officer, immediate lodging of FIRs, personal monitoring of investigations, victim compensation schemes, and disciplinary action against non-compliant officials.


Governments Initiatives:

  1. Legislation:
  • Manipur, West Bengal, and Rajasthan have enacted laws specifically targeting mob lynching to provide a legal framework for addressing such incidents.
  • Jharkhand Assembly has passed the Prevention of Mob Violence and Mob Lynching Bill, 2021, which is currently under review by the Governor.
  1. Awareness Campaigns:
  • Ranchi Police launched a mass awareness drive in the Ranchi district using poster campaigns to sensitize the public and prevent mob lynching.
  1. Victim Compensation:
  • The Goa government has introduced a victim compensation scheme, providing Rs. 2 lakh to families in case of a person’s death due to mob violence.
  1. Social Media Monitoring:
  • The police in Hyderabad are actively using social media campaigns, like #HyderabadKillsRumors, to stop the spread of fake news and rumors that can trigger mob violence.


Way Forward:

  • Victim Compensation: Providing financial support to victims of lynching can aid their families during challenging times.
  • Eradicating Lynchings: As a democratic society, mob violence has no place, and concerted efforts are needed to eliminate such incidents.
  • Comprehensive Legislation: States and the central government should work on comprehensive legislation to tackle mob lynching effectively.
  • Combating Fake News: Measures should be taken to curb the spread of misinformation and hate speech, which often trigger such violence.
  • Community Outreach Programs: Engaging with communities, especially in areas prone to mob violence, to promote tolerance, inclusivity, and respect for the rule of law.



Q.1 What are the causes of mob lynching incidents in India?

(a) Perceived threat to cultural identity

(b) Economic and social tensions

(c) Spread of misinformation and rumors

(d) All of the above

Answer: (d) 


Q.2 What is the significance of the “Tahseen Poonawala Case” in the context of mob lynching in India?

(a) It established guidelines for compensation to victims of mob lynching.

(b) It highlighted the need for stricter laws against mob violence.

(c) It emphasized the duty of the state to protect citizens from mobocracy.

(d) It called for the establishment of a separate court for handling lynching cases.

Answer: (c)


Q.3 Analyze the causes of mob lynching and its implications on society and governance. Discuss the initiatives taken by the government to prevent lynching and propose effective strategies to address this issue and promote a safer and more inclusive society.

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