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Case Studies

Case Study - 21: Mob Lynching

  • 09 Nov 2019
  • 6 min read

You are posted as an additional superintendent of police in a district. The incidents of lynching over the rumours of child lifting have increased in the state in past few months. 

Recently, one such incident took place at the Government hospital, where two brothers who had taken their nephew to a doctor for treatment were misjudged and attacked by the mob over suspicion of child lifting.

The police rushed to the spot after receiving the information and rescued the brothers. However, one of them was declared dead on arrival at the hospital. The deceased person was as a young leader and potential candidate for the upcoming Panchayat elections.

The locals from the nearby village along with the relatives of the deceased person are protesting and accusing police of negligence. They are claiming the incident as a planned political murder and demanding for arrest of the rival candidate who has strong political backing.

(a) Identify the stakeholders and various dimensions of the crisis involved in the issue. 

(b) What would be the course of action taken by you to manage the situation as an additional superintendent of police? Suggest the measures to deal with the incident lynching. (200 words)


The given case highlights the issue of mob lynching and its associated problems prevailing in the society.

Stakeholders involved Ethical values
  • The two brothers (victims)
  • Victims’ family
  • People in the mob
  • Local politician
  • Self - Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP)
  • Civil Society
  • Government
  • Social justice
  • Rationality
  • Compassion
  • Forgiveness
  • Empathy
  • Leadership
  • Impartiality

Dimensions of the crisis

Ethical dimensions

  • Denial of justice: Entire families get devastated by the loss of lives of their loved ones. No monetary amount can compensate for the sorrow and grief of their loss.
  • Lack of moral conundrums: People following unhealthy herd mentality to adopt violent means without giving a rational thought about the possibility of the accused being innocent.
  • Impacting moral fabric of society: Mob lynching perpetrates a feeling of vengeance and hatred in the society.

Legal dimensions:

  • Child lifting: It is the duty of the Police to prevent such crimes in the first place, so that there is no need for the public to take law in their hands.
  • Mob lynching: Absence of a strong national legislation encourages mob lynching. It is a governance failure not to take strict action against the perpetrators.
  • Possibility of political vendetta: The victim’s family alleging political conspiracy suggests the level of unethicality of politics even at the grassroots level.

Course of action

Step Reason

Providing medical support to the survivor.

  • Preventing loss of life should be of utmost priority.
  • Humanity must guide all formal procedures.
2. Persuading locals not to protest and cooperate in the investigation.
  • Locals must be taken into confidence about the fairness of the investigation.
  • It is the duty of the ASP to ensure that people do not turn violent.
3. Forming a team to investigate the case.
  • Knowing and understanding of the facts would help in pursuing the case further.
  • It gives an opportunity to identify any political conspiracy.
4. Taking strict action against wrongdoers.
  • People involved must be identified and held accountable for the lynching.
5. Increasing vigilance to prevent further violence.
  • Regular monitoring of the local area is needed to ensure there is no further violence.

    Measures to deal with the crisis

    • Providing legal justice: By ensuring that those guilty must be punished. People involved must face trial in a court of law.
    • Rehabilitation of lynching victims’ family: Taking confidence building measures to regain trust of victims on the government and justice delivery system.
    • Awareness generation: People must be sensitised about compassion and respect for human lives as inalienable attributes of Indian society.
      • We need to adhere to the Gandhian idea of Ahimsa which involves showing love to mankind and all living beings.
    • Long term measures like framing laws on the lines of ‘The Rajasthan Protection from Lynching Bill, 2019’ should be enacted to create deterrence towards such crimes.
    • Addressing child lifting issue: Police must increase vigilance by taking the help of local level intelligence gathering and identifying criminal rackets involved in such crimes.
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