The police in Ghaziabad are delighted with Sunday’s lynching of four alleged robbers in the Loni area.
“Police appreciate the public action against the criminals. The robbers fired at the public and the people gave them a befitting reply. It will serve as a lesson to other criminals. This is a ‘public encounter’,” said Superintendent of Police (City) Anant Dev.
However, legal experts expressed concern over this exercise of the lynch law.
“As the public had already overpowered them, these men should have been handed over to the police. Legally, it’s murder,” said Praveen Rai, a high court lawyer.
An eyewitness told HT: “One of the robbers was tied to a bamboo pole while the other three were beaten near the tri-junction. This continued for over an hour.”
The police’s inaction has raised eyebrows as much as the mob’s action.
“We called the police at 6.45 pm, and again around 7.15 pm, but they arrived after 8 pm,” a resident said.
The delay was unjustifiable since the Loni police station is just over 2 km away from where the lynching happened. In fact, the police came back to collect the more than 30 visiting cards and other belongings left behind by the robbers only on Monday afternoon.
While residents claimed only one robber was seriously injured when police took them away, police claimed all four died of critical injuries. “We arrived around 8.30 pm and took them to GTB hospital, and then to MMG hospital in Ghaziabad, where they were declared brought-dead,” Station House Officer Ashok Rana said.
Senior Superintendent of Police Akhil Kumar has now ordered an inquiry into the lynching.