What the Bulandshahr Cop’s Killing Tells Us About India’s Growing Mob Power

Social Commentary

What the Bulandshahr Cop’s Killing Tells Us About India’s Growing Mob Power

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

T

he Indian public’s relationship with the police is a fickle one. On one hand, the widespread corruption and problematic attitudes prevalent among police personnel are no secret, but on the other, most citizens also view the uniformed men and women with a degree of fear. That fear was nowhere to be found in Bulandshahr, UP, yesterday, when a mob killed police inspector Subodh Kumar Singh after a skirmish over animal slaughter in the area.

In the wake of the inspector’s murder, matters proceeded according to script. A SIT was swiftly set up, the FIRs were filed, and two arrests were made. The arrested suspects belong to the Bajrang Dal, VHP, and the BJP youth wing. Now, having meted out their own brand of vigilante justice, these goons will face the Indian justice system. But is justice really being served? What is justice, when death sentences can be issued and executed by a seething mob? As we struggle to make sense of the new normal, we can’t afford to ignore how the lynch mob has shaped the world we live in today.

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