Mob justice: Jharkhand villager beaten to death for ‘raping’ five-year-old girl
Jawahar Lohar was accused of sexually assaulting the minor several times, and then burying her neck-deep in sand to prevent her from escaping.ranchi Updated: Apr 29, 2017 14:14 IST
A 25-year-old man died after being brutally assaulted by a mob for allegedly raping a five-year-old girl and then burying her neck-deep in sand, police said on Saturday.
In what appears to be the first major incident of ‘mob justice’ in Jharkhand this year, the accused was dragged out of his house early on Friday and assaulted with sticks, belts, slippers and stones until he lost consciousness. He died on the way to a hospital the same afternoon.
The incident occurred at Sukhsari village in Chandil block, around 100 km from Ranchi.
According to villagers, Jawahar Lohar had abducted the girl and raped her repeatedly in his thatched hut. He then partially buried her in sand to prevent her from escaping. The minor is being treated at a local government hospital, and police are still awaiting medical confirmation of her alleged rape.
“The villagers say they found the girl at Jawahar Lohar’s house around 3 am. He was critically injured in the mob assault that followed,” said Adikant, officer in-charge of the Chandil police station. No arrest has been made in the case yet, he added.
Sunil Kispotta, national secretary of the All Indian Human Rights Association, said people should not be allowed to mete out vigilante justice under any circumstances. “Rapists deserve to be punished, but we cannot endorse such extremism. Only courts have the right to deliver judgments, and we certainly don’t need jungle laws to curb crime,” he said.
Mob justice is highly prevalent in the rural areas of tribal-dominated Jharkhand, and many petty criminals have been lynched for offences as minor as stealing mobile phones. However, most of the people who die at the hands of irate mobs are accused of sexual crimes.
Three men in their twenties were lynched by villagers at Swaria village in Jharkhand’s Gumla district for allegedly molesting a local girl on February 16, 2013. Similarly, 50-year-old Radha Mohan Munda of Saraikela-Kharsawan district was beaten to death by a mob after allegedly attempting to rape a 35-year-old woman in August 2014.
According to police records, the state has witnessed at least five such incidents since 2012.