The Legacy of Lynching in India and the punishments.

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The secular republic of India, has been under the shadows of mob lynching more than a centuries. Mob lynching is giving punishment to a person by a group without any legal authority for any offence. This can be done by hanging or by beating. The group are basically from a certain community.

The question rises as to why such dark acts exists in our society. reason could be anything from religion to racism, insecurity to taking authorization due to lack of trust on Law.

There has already been a handful of lynching in this county this year and In 2017 most cases of mob lynching was related to cow terror attack, which is the most common reason for mob lynching through out. A recent report by Indiaspend, in the first six months of 2017, 20 cow terror attack was reported. The attack included mob lynching, attacks by vigilantes, murder, harassment, assault, rape etc. In some attacks the victim was chained, beaten and stripped while in other the victim were hanged.

India is experiencing too much of violence between different groups. People have fallen pray in Muslim and Hindus conflict resulting in mob lynching. Kashmir reports n-number of  mob lynching cases.

Villages of Chhattisgarh have practiced mob-lynching on women suspected of witchcraft.

Some cases of mob lynching in India

October 9, 2015 (Udhampur truck attack): On basis of the rumors that slaughtered cows were being transported, Some Hindu extremists attacked a truck by throwing petrol bombs at it, leading to death of the truck driver.

March 2016 (Jharkhand): Two Muslim traders were taking their cattle to animal fair. Due to this reason mob lynched and hanged the traders.

April 5, 2016: Gau Rakshaks are a group of people who want to save cows. On April 5 Mustain Abbas was shot by Gau Rakshaks when he was returning back home after buying bulls.

September 8, 2016: In Jalpaiguri district, a man was lynched by mob on suspicion of stealing cattle.

April 1, 2017 (Rajasthan): On this day, mob attacked more than 15 people as they were transporting cows which resulted in the death of Pehlu Khan.

May 1, 2017 (Guwahati): Mob lynched 2 men in Assam after they suspected to be cattle thieves.

May 21, 2017 (Barmer, Rajasthan): One person was beaten to death in Loharwa village of Barmer district when two groups clashed over a land dispute.

May 31, 2017 (Jamshedpur): Mob beats 4 people to death on suspicion of kidnapping children. 3 more were lynched by the mob on the suspicion of being child lifters.

June 18, 2017 (Rajasthan): A CPI(ML) member-turned-activist was allegedly lynched to death in Rajasthan by government officials after he came to the rescue of women who were being photographed while defecating in the open.

June 23, 2017 (Nowhatta, J&K): Police officer Mohammed Ayub Pandith was lynched by an angry mob after he allegedly opened fire at a group of people who caught him clicking pictures near the mosque.

June 26, 2017 (West Bengal, Durgapur): On Saturday, barely two days before Eid, three Muslim youth were lynched in Durgapur village, West Bengal, by a mob of cow vigilantes over suspicion of cow theft.

April 19, 2018, (Mumbai): truck-driver-lynched in mumbai for harassing woman.

May 26, 2018(Telangana): two lynchings in  and attacks on at least nine people based on rumours about the presence of child-kidnappers

May 28, 2018 (Hyderabad): Transgender lynched to death over fake kidnapping rumours,

June 10, 2018, (Assam) :The death of two youths after a mob lynching incident in Karbi Anglong.

Punishment for mob Lynching

A Frightful Vengeance in the name of mob Lynching is beyond control and it is increases day by day, leading to killing of innocent people. Is the punishment enough that is there or do we need some strict punishment to stop the lynching.

Punishment for mob Lynching is not specific. It all depends on the facts of the case. For example, If mob commits murder then it will fall under 302 of the IPC. Murder in any form whether by a lone killer or a seething mob will fall under section 302 of IPC.

Section 302 of Indian Penal Code: Section 302 of IPC defines punishment for murder. It states that whoever commits murder shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine. This section can be applied to a mob if victim is dead…

Section 304 of Indian Penal Code: Culpable Homicide not amounting to murder. Whoever commits culpable homicide not amounting to murder shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 307 of Indian Penal Code: Attempt to Murder. Whoever does any act with such intention or knowledge, and under such circumstances that, if he by that act caused death, he would be guilty of murder, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine and if hurt is caused to any person by such act, the offender shall be liable either to imprisonment for life, or to such punishment as is hereinbefore mentioned. When any person offending under this section is under sentence of imprisonment for life, he may, if hurt is caused, be punished with death.

Section 323 of IPC Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt.—Whoever voluntarily causes hurt, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

Section 325 of IPC Punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt. Whoever, except in the case provided for by section 335, voluntarily causes grievous hurt, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

These punishment which is provided above will only be applicable for a group of people in mob lynching. These punishments have to be read with the sections provided below.

Section 34 of IPC. This section defines common intention. When a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of the common intention of all, each of such persons is liable for that act in the same manner as if it were done by him alone.

If a mob committed murder, then this section will make all the person that was part of the mob will be committed with the section of murder with this section.

Section 141 of IPC: This section deals with unlawful assembly. An assembly of five or more persons is designated an “unlawful assembly”. If an assembly commits any wrong to anyone, they all will come under this unlawful assembly and will be prosecuted with the punishment.

Section 149 of IPC: Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence commit­ted in prosecution of common object.—If an offence is committed by any member of an unlawful assembly in prosecution of the common object of that assembly, or such as the members of that assembly knew to be likely to be committed in prosecution of that object, every person who, at the time of the committing of that offence, is a member of the same assembly, is guilty of that offence.

If there is a common objective of a mob for example a mob with common object of punishing the cow traders will come under this section.

Section 147 and 148 of IPC: In this section, rioting and its punishment is defined. Whoever is guilty of rioting, being armed with a deadly weapon or with anything which, used as a weapon of offence, is likely to cause death, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

Section 120B of IPC: criminal conspiracy If a group of people conspire to commit an offence punishable with death or imprisonment will be liable under this section.


There is no law that specifically deals with mob lynching which makes a room for the culprits to escape.

MASUKA law is a National Campaign Against Mob Lynching that drafts bill to address rising violence. It not only demands harsh actions against the culprits but also aims to provide effective protection to vulnerable persons,  and provide rehabilitation and compensation for victims and their families.

The draft of the Bill can also be accessed on and is open for public feedback.

Its high time the government makes a strict amendment for this ugly crime.

Mob Lynching is a serious crime and should not be taken lightly. Government should take steps to stop communal dispute and mob lynching by different communities.  Lynching is not at all healthy for a country and its society. People should understand that every life is important. Killing someone on just a suspicion is not justified. Also, people should not take law in their own hands. Courts and police are there to give punishment. Using violence is not the option left. People can change the society even by speaking. “Raise your voice not your hand” if you want to change something in the society.

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