news Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute| December 4, 2014| 04.24 pm IST In a incident similar to one straight out a movie scene, members of the public caught a man for allegedly harassing women on a Bengaluru road, thrashing him bloody until he fell unconscious. Pictures of the man semi-stripped, his head tied to a post, his body bloodied after being attacked by members of the public were uploaded on social media, the attack attributed to his allegedly harassing some girls passing by. He was rushed to the hospital by police, his condition quite bad. However, in a series of occurrences reminiscent of the Rohtak incident in which several distorted versions of the truth have been revealed, the  Bangalore police have said that the reason for the mob attack on the man was uncertain. According to the Bangalore DCP (South) B.S.Lokesh Kumar, the victim, a 30 year old mason had been walking on the road when he had suddenly turned around to avoid bumping into a person. This incident was misconstrued as ‘eve-teasing’ by a person which led to the attack.  Soon, a mob gathered, tied him to a pole and beat him up,”said Kumar. The man admitted in NIMHANS following the attack has since been discharged from the hospital. However, the police is uncertain about why the crowd attacked the man that vehemently and were unclear about the reason for the attack. No arrests have been made so far. He however, said that it was only because of a passerby that the nearby police state inspector Manoj Kumar rushed to the spot. “If it weren't for the police intervention, the mob would have beat him to death,” he said. Is this the case of people taking law into their own hands or is it anarchy in another form? Considering that the man in question here was not at fault, who will be held responsible for the mob’s actions? On the basis of the police’s claims, that the man is , in fact, innocent, the public attempting to act as vigilantes has caused more harm than good, on any level. The country has seen a number of riots in the past, sparked due to various reasons. But the deep-rooted logic behind such attacks lies in the frustration and anger brewing in the public manifesting itself in different ways. Only in October, a 40 year-old man’s genitals were chopped off by a mob in Ganganagar, Rajasthan after he was caught trying to rape a teenage girl. On finding the man forcing himself on the girl, the mob had dragged him to a butcher shop after which they castrated him with a meat cleaver, reported the Daily Mail. For one, whether innocent or guilty, the dynamics of the land has slowly changed with agitated people taking the law into their own hands at the drop of a hat. But in terms of reacting and demanding justice, where do we draw the line? Is it right to leave the public scot-free in demanding and exacting justice on their own terms? Following the spate of media spotlight on women-centric sexual crimes , vigilante justice seems to have reached an all-time high. How much is too much?  Does the public know where to stop, whether it just should stop with a public thrashing or move on to a more brutal castration? Castration as a form of punishment is not legally handed out in many countries. India itself does not usually hand out castration as a form of deterrent for rapists. Public fury can have dangerous outcomes. But are we, as the media egging them on , giving them the space and the chance to highlight their actions? Vigilante justice seems to be picking up with a strong media spotlight on crimes, mainly women-related. Apparently, after the mob attack in Bengaluru a police officer said that the public reacted more vehemently after widespread criticism against the inmates in a Rohtak bus for remaining silent while two girls were allegedly harassed by three youth. Many questioned the morality of the passengers in the Rohtak bus, staying silent as the ‘harassment’ continued. All those concerns have since gone into the backburner after new versions of the incident came up. Protesting in dissent against injustice can be a method of expressing public anger, however , physically inflicting pain on a person, whether innocent or guilty, is a whole different issue treading moral grounds.  One thing is for certain - the police themselves don’t seem to know how to react to this new role the public seems to have taken up. Tweet
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