PUBLIC LYNCHING MIRRORS DECADENT SOCIETY
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Dr Pankaj Narang, an orthodontist living in Vikaspuri, Delhi was dragged out of his house by a bunch of hoodlums from a nearby slum and mercilessly beaten to death. It was an aftermath of an altercation between the doctor and two ruffians on mobike after he had chastised the duo for wayward riding in a residential area. The duo on bike went home collected their gang, including a woman, returned to doctor’s house and committed what appeared to be pre-meditated murder of Dr Pankaj Narang in the presence of his wife and a minor son. A close relative of the doctor who came to his rescue was also thrashed mercilessly with blunt weapons like iron rods, hockey sticks, bamboo sticks and so on until he fell down and bled profusely.
The murder most foul of the dental surgeon has shaken the conscience of law abiding citizens and also their faith in agencies maintaining law and order in the national capital. The Delhi Police, if patrolling the area, was nowhere around the scene of murder until all was over.
What is most shocking aspect of the gruesome murder is that no neighbor came out to defend a neighbor and his relative from the murderous blows of the unlawful assembly of criminals. One wonders why and how are such ruffians allowed to stay in illegal slums so close to the residential houses of educated and professional men and women. Is there a semblance of police presence and, if so, do the police have a system of information flow to the police station to help them monitor brewing trouble in their area of jurisdiction? Apparently the police was either clueless of presence of criminals in the vicinity or they have meager means to counter their nefarious designs.
Our Constitution enshrines Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties. Most of our citizens insist on exercising our fundamental rights but turn Nelson’s eye to discharging the fundamental duties. Article 51 of the Constitution of India lists eleven fundamental duties to be observed by all citizens of India. It is the fundamental duty of all citizens of India to promote harmony and spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India. In the present case of violence and murder, some slum dwellers, mostly Muslims and a couple of Hindus, attacked a Hindu doctor and beat him up mercilessly with blunt weapons to death.
The culprits of murder not only committed an act cognizable under section 302, Indian Penal Code but also failed to comply with the Constitutional provision requiring them to maintain harmony and spirit of brotherhood. The neighbours who failed to come out of their houses to render help to the dental surgeon to save his life also did not comply with the provision of Fundamental Duty as enshrined in the Constitution of India.
The Dental Surgeon could not enjoy the Fundamental Right to Life and Personal Liberty as enshrined in Articles 21 and 22 of the Constitution of India. This right is enforceable at all times and circumstances not only against the State but also against private citizens violating it. Of course, the person whose right to life was violated is not alive to enforce it but his heirs are there to ask for compensation for the life of their loved one now extinct.
It is the duty of the State to ensure that all citizens are able to exercise their fundamental right to Life. Failure of agencies of the State like the civil administration and the police to ensure exercise of this fundamental right to Life makes the agencies culpable and they should be proceeded against as per due process of law. Steps also need to be taken to prevent recurrence incidents of this nature. Obviously, modernization of the Police Force, their tools of investigation, their weapon system, their physical and mental fitness have to be gone into. The Morale of the Police will rise high only when corruption is eliminated and fitness in all respects is achieved.
The role of the Media has not been as impeccable as the Fourth Estate is expected to be. The Media need to look within and take corrective steps wherever need be.
All said and done, the episode of murder most foul of Dr Pankaj Narang has brought social shame to the local social set up. Corrective steps, if taken on time, will prevent recurrence of cases of this nature. The religious and political leadership have to lead the social forces to be bold to face the trouble makers and nip troubles in the bud. Moral Courage of the Common Man will prevent hoodlums from destabilizing the peaceful social set up.
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