Nagpur: Almost everybody knows that mob behavior is violent, unpredictable and demonic in nature. The mob is often formed to bully some government machinery to adhere to their demands.
In a similar incident where a mob had formed to press for immediate arrest of the accused who had murdered two brothers over a very petty issue of sewage drain blockage.
What extreme situations could have occurred, had DCP Abhinash Kumar not resorted to using lathi-charge to quell the violent mob?
- The mob could have resorted to Lynching.
- The mob could have resorted to Stampede.
- The mob could have resorted to Arson.
The chain of incident is as follows.
Tension erupted and prevailed in Jaripatka area when a protest for immediate arrest of the accused involved in double murder case at Samata Nagar slums on June 13, 2016. However the protest took an ugly turn when the protesters, a few people close to the victims, started pelting stones onto the police station and the police vehicles in Jaripatka Police Station (just when the post-mortem was being conducted at GMCH).
The additional cops of the Rapid Action Force soon arrived and resorted to lathi-charge when the mob started violent behavior in spite of repeated warnings by the cops.
When the cops started lathi-charge, the mob rushed to the residence of the accused with an aim to set it afire and ransack the house. Anticipating lynching or arson, DCP Abhinash Kumar chased the mob. As expected, the mob rushed to the house of the accused and had started pelting stones. The cops stationed there were out-numbered and had to bear the brunt of stone pelting. However, soon DCP Abhinash Kumar reached with additional staff. The cops who reached the spot then lathi-charged the violent mob. After seeing the cops’ effort to diffuse their plan of ransacking the house, they ran to the house of the victim Imrat Rana and Oranlal Rana.
There as soon as the ladies who were sitting and lamenting over the death of their kin, got up seeing the mob entering their house and the cops following the mob. The cops could not differentiate between the accused and the victims and ended up dragging men and women from their houses and attacked them. However, unfortunately, even wives of the deceased Imrat Rana and Oranlal Rana got lathi-charged by the police. Meanwhile, some of the reporters and photographers reached the primary crime scene before the cops. While taking the photographs of the cops lathi-charging the mob, the cops had a difficulty in differentiating the media personnel and the mob. As a result, some of the media personnel got roughed up.
What worse could have occurred?
An incident similar to the Bhuru lynching case of Vasantrao Naik Slum area in 2013 could have repeated. The crowd had entered Sitabuldi Police Station and violence had erupted then too. After investigations, 6 Constables and 2 Police Sub Inspectors were suspended.
A case of lynching similar to infamous Akku Yadav could have occurred.
Were the cops lax in taking action against the offenders?
The cops needed time to arrest the double murder accused of Jaripatka who had absconded and were in hiding. The cops had picked up one of the offenders and the search for the others was on. Demanding immediate arrest was unjustified.
Almost all sections of media were apt to point fingers at Deputy Commissioner of Police Abhinash Kumar and his action against the mob and the media in the same vein. However, one should take into consideration the immense pressure he was in to control the mob, ensure law and order and peace to prevail in the area. In his attempt to bring the anti-social elements from taking out their personal vendetta against the cops and other accused, some other innocent people too had to face the brunt of the police action. Blaming them exclusively speaks bad about the chain of thought. Had he not ordered the lathi-charge, then too the media would have blamed him for inaction against mobsters. Had he not resorted to lathi-charge then, he would have resorted to firing too eventually. However, as a responsible police officer, his actions were justified and a benefit of doubt should be given to him for any action against innocent people.