Mob lynching or reports of mob lynching seem to be the norm these days. Mob violence was reported yesterday from Jharkhand’s Bokaro district. In a video that has gone viral on social media, a mob can be seen beating up a youth, who has been identified as Mohammad Saqir. The violence is being described on social media platforms as an attempt at mob lynching and directed at the religious identity of the person.
According to the police and local reporters, the violence took place in Kathara market’s Hina Complex in the BTPS (Bokaro Thermal Power Station) police station area. Saqir works in a Pragya Kendra, a government-run internet service centre, in the shopping complex.
It is alleged that Saqir was seen with a girl when he arrived at the Kendra in the morning. Locals saw the couple go inside and when the girl didn’t return after a long time, they proceeded to the centre. When the couple was spotted together there, people became violent and beat up Saqir, injuring him badly. The mob also shaved his head during the violence.
The extent to which the mob had become violent can be seen in the video below. The girl is allegedly a juvenile and from the Hindu community. Apparently, this was enough to incite the mob and some turned this into an opportunity to vent their communal feelings.
When the incident was reported to the police, a patrolling party rescued Saqir. He was taken to a hospital in an unconscious state, but has recovered since then according to the police.
According to reports, Saqir’s uncle has alleged that the mob became violent because of his Muslim identity.
“There was no girl when the police reached the scene. The complaint registered by the girl’s mother says that the girl is a minor and had gone to the market for getting photocopies, where she was sexually harassed by Saqir. He forced her inside the Pragya Kendra and pulled down the shutter,” Bokaro DSP Rajat Baxla told YKA.
He explained that there was “no such angle at the time of the incident” when asked about the allegations of a an attempt at mob lynching targeting Saqir’s religious identity. “But nothing can be said of people’s emotions. Some people do try to give a communal colour to incidents when they are reported,” he said.
“If the police get any complaints about communal violence, then those will also be acted upon. We have identified the accused currently and the arrests will also start shortly,” he told YKA.
Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) Prem Ranjan also told YKA that “there was no communal angle initially” or the administration “at least didn’t have any information on it”.
“The complaints too that we have received pertain to harassment and violence from the girl’s and the man’s side respectively. An arrest has also been made,” he said.
“If we learn about communal violence, then we will act on that too. In our cities, if a man and a woman are found together, people get violent. We need to get rid of this attitude,” he added.
Local reporters told YKA that the mob first reacted on the lines of society’s prejudiced reactions to seeing a couple together. However, the incident later turned communal. According to reports in some national newspapers, some miscreants in the mob wanted to use the opportunity to give a communal colour to the alleged sexual harassment. But the matter was settled after the intervention of the police and some local people who stopped the violence.
Whether the violence was another crime based on religious identity will continue to be investigated by the authorities. However, what seems to need no investigation any more is that the Indian society is getting scarier, where we are no more individuals, but increasingly a mob. A mob which finds it convenient to be the judge, jury, and executioner. A mob whose identity is rarely established.