With Bihar reporting 39 cases of mob violence in which 14 people were killed, the state government has decided to act tough to send a message across.
It has been decided that an accused in a mob violence case might lose his job if he is a state government employee; and if he is not a government employee, he gets automatically disqualified for any job in the government, said a senior police official. State police have been gathering video footage from the media and local residents to identify more accused.
So far, 345 people have been named in 39 mob violence cases in Patna, Sasaram, Jehanabad, Gaya and other districts. Police have arrested 278 people in connection with these cases.
Most of these incidents were triggered by child-lifting rumours. Last month, four Gaya residents were beaten up badly on the suspicion that they are child-lifters. An old man and a mentally-challenged woman were killed by a mob in Patna in August on similar suspicision.
Addl DGP, CID, Vinay Kumar said, In mob lynching cases, we often book unidentified people. We are now focusing more on identifying faces in the crowd with help of video footage gathered through media and local people. The objective is to ensure that people do not take law in their hands.
He said the accused could now lose government jobs and contracts. In recent cases, over 2,000 unknown people are booked. Despite several warnings, people continued to take law in their hands because of unfounded rumours, said Kumar.
Addl DGP (headquarters) Jitendra Kumar said the state police had been closely monitoring these cases. Chargesheets would be filed in most cases soon and we would also ensure speedy trial, said Kumar.
Since almost 90 per cent mob violence cases in the past decade led to zero convictions, there is an urgency to gather more scientific evidence and name more accused. We need more convictions so that it works as a deterrant for lumpen elements.