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Mobs punishing criminals, administration: experts

Mob violence in Bihar has developed a disconcerting pattern of late, reports Arun Kumar.

patna Updated: Sep 14, 2007 02:22 IST
Arun Kumar

Mob violence in Bihar has developed a disconcerting pattern of late. Be it a road accident, petty theft or snatching bid, the result in invariably the same: perpetrators of the crime, if caught, are dealt “instant justice” by an unforgiving mob.

Psychologists attribute this trend to growing intolerance and insecurity, which manifests itself in the form of aggression. Some describe it as “extreme behaviour” both against crime and the administration.

“Frustration leads to aggression. The frustration could be due to any number of factors, family, social or economic. Discharge of aggression is invariably on weaker or neutral objects and the decision is taken on the spur of the moment,” says Dr Shamshad Hussain.

“Scrap any human being and you will find an animal within,” he says, quoting Freud. “It is here that education, upbringing come into play. It teaches one to control one’s impulse.” He says exposure through TV and movies also plays a part.

Professor Prabha Shukla of the Institute of Psychological Research and Service, Patna University, says growing incidents of mob violence are all examples of “extreme behaviour”. “It is a reaction against crime as well as the administration. People had very high expectations from the police, but those have not been met. They also find redressal a lengthy and uncertain process.”

Dr Iftikhar Hussain of Patna College says a growing sense of insecurity often results in incidents of mob violence. “They take the law into their own hands as they either don’t trust the system or just want to vent their frustration. Most of them happen to be restless youth bereft of any opportunity.”