Mob justice

Justice hurried is justice buried

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A 15-year-old was killed in Karachi during the Eid holidays. A video that went viral showed the boy being tortured by a few individuals for an alleged theft attempt. The family of the victim denies the charges and has rather filed an FIR under the anti-terrorism laws.

According to the family, the boy was hired as a butcher for Eidul Azha sacrifice and had gone there to collect his dues. Rather than paying his dues, he was beaten to death. Since the incident caught the attention of the media, the Sindh government has taken notice of the issue and ordered for an independent inquiry. Some arrests, looking at the video of the incident, have also been made. It is hoped that truth shall prevail and the culprits shall be meted out punishment as per the law.

It is important to establish the writ of the law or citizens will take it upon themselves to punish the suspect on the street without due process of law taking place.

A similar incident occurred in Punjab as well. Way back in 2016, two boys were beaten to death in Sialkot as police had watched on. The mob had taken them to be robbers. Not long ago, a bearded guy was filmed shooting a person in the gut in full public view. Later as people protested the brutal killing, investigations revealed that there was more to it than met the eye.

The troubling question in this is that there is a chronic distrust in the judicial system of the country. Cases remain pending for decades before the courts before they are adjudicated upon. The influential people with access to power corridors, and deep pockets are more likely to buy justice for themselves. Shahzeb murder case is one example where the convict belonging to a powerful business family of Sindh had forced the victim’s family to agree on an out-of-court settlement.

And some elements under the garb of dispensing immediate justice level their own scores as well which later on cloaked as a spontaneous reaction of angry mob. This is not how civilized societies regard a human life. It must change.