Enact Strictest Punishment For Those Who Indulge In Communal Violence
Nothing on earth is most shocking, most disgusting and most horrifying than to witness the most terrifying scenes of fundamentalists brazenly and openly brandishing swords, attacking armless people with impunity, killing them mercilessly and firing fearlessly even on police personnel as we are presently seeing in different states! This begs the moot question: How can any civilized nation allow a few fundamentalists to behave like terrorists and openly attack women, children and even men in uniform without being made to pay a heavy price? Why should there not be the most strictest punishment for those who indulge in communal violence? Why should they be allowed to easily come out of jail?
Few more troubling questions also crop up like: How can Centre allow our national security to be mercilessly held to ransom by not taking the most strictest action against those who wantonly indulge in communal violence, arson and riots? Why should the property not be seized of those who indulge in communal violence? Why should the rioters not be deprived of all facilities available to an Indian citizen once their guilt is proved beyond doubt? Why should the rioters not be made to suffer themselves the most? If Centre and law enforcing agencies ensure this, will anyone ever dare to take law in their own hands and indulge in acts of riot, arson and communal violence most brazenly?
More to the point, it must also be asked: Why should rioters not be hanged or at least sentenced to life? Why should the property of rioters not be confiscated promptly without any discrimination of any kind on the basis of religion or any other ground? Why should all those who indulge in hate speech not be punished similarly? Why should India care for the human rights of those who are out to destroy the communal harmony of our nation?
It is high time and it must also be very rightly asked: Who are foreign countries like UK and US to lecture us on human rights? Why they never introspect on their own poor track record of violating human rights at the drop of a hat and invading even foreign countries like Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and making a complete mockery of even Pakistan as the former PM Imran Khan while in office was complaining with a very heavy heart and who also accused USA of meddling in its internal affairs? It must be mentioned here that India recently rightly asked USA to introspect on its own track record before lecturing India on human rights and also rightly expressed its own serious concern on human right violation taking place with impunity in USA!
Needless to say, the string of repeated communal violence incidents amidst religious processions in different States as we witnessed recently cannot be taken lightly under any circumstances. In Gujarat we saw how during Ram Navami processions communal clashes broke out between two communities in Himmatnagar and Khambhat cities. The members of the two communities hurled stones at each other when a Ram Navami procession reached Chhapariya locality in Himmatnagar city in the Sabarkantha district in late afternoon. A police official later told media that, “Police fired tear gas shells to control the situation. Later, the additional police force was brought in from outside the city to bring the situation under control.”
Similarly we saw how a clash broke out during a Ram Navami procession in Khambhat town in the Anand district wherein stones were pelted and shops and vehicles were damaged by two groups. Due to this the police had to fire tear gas shells. How can India keep watching all this like a mute spectator?
We also saw how clashes were reported in at least two districts of Jharkhand during religious processions. The first incident happened in Hirdi village of Lohardaga district at around 5.30 pm. Arvind Kumar Lal who is Sub-Divisional Officer at Lohardaga said that CrPC Section 144 has been invoked and “all religious gatherings and processions have been banned”. But banning is no solution. Police must ensure that there is fool proof security during such processions and if anyone dares to indulge in violence on any ground then they must be promptly arrested and should not be given a lenient treatment at any cost and under any circumstances. They must be kept in jail for at least five years so that a very loud and clear message goes out to one and all that no one can be allowed to take law for granted! Heavy penalty should be imposed on them and they should be made to realize that what crime they have committed by not giving them any respite! But this is what most unfortunately does not happen in India due to which criminals get complacent that they can get away even after committing the most horrendous crimes which is definitely most concerning and for this the police has to accept its culpability on its part for not acting swiftly, strictly and sensibly! The second incident was seen in Bermo area of Bokaro district during Ram Navami procession.
We similarly saw how curfew was imposed in three areas of Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone after there were reports of stone-pelting and arson during Ram Navami processions. Khargone District Collector Anugrah P said that Section 144 (banning assembly of four or more people) has been imposed in the entire city. Anugrah P also revealed that, “Curfew has been clamped in three areas including Talab Chowk and Tavdi in the city”, adding that incidents of minor arson occurred following the pelting of stones. At least two dozen people including the Superintendent of Police (SP) Siddharth Choudhary were injured. Additional Collector SS Mujalde said to NDTV news channel that, “When the Ram Navami procession started from the Talab Chowk area stones were allegedly pelted at the gathering, prompting the police to fire tear gas shells to control the situation. The procession was supposed to take a round of Khargone city but it was abandoned midway after the violence.” Clashes were also reported from the adjoining Barwani district.
Reports of stone-pelting and clashes have also been reported from West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Uttarakhand. To top it all, even Delhi which is our national capital also did not remain safe. Clashes broke out between the two communities during a Hanuman Jayanti procession in North-West Delhi’s Jahangirpuri area on evening of April 16, 2022. It must be mentioned that several police personnel were also injured in the ensuing ugly violence. According to the police, stones were pelted and some vehicles were torched in the violence.
Without mincing any words, it must be said upfront: All those who indulge in violence whether they are Hindus or Muslims or Sikhs or Christians or belonging to any other religion must be all first identified after proper investigation and then they must be made to pay the price. There should be no bail for them. The trials in courts must take place at a war footing on the highest scale so that they are promptly punished and they don’t come out easily on bail only to further harm the victim and his/her family! Their Indian citizenship must be terminated and they should not be given any benefits which an Indian citizen is entitled to as what they have done resembles a lot with what terrorists do. So there must be zero tolerance for them! Even their property must be confiscated and they must be made to pay the price! Rights must be for those who believe in peace and not for those who believe in trampling others by brandishing swords and dangerous weapons!
No doubt, if this is done most strictly without any discrimination whatsoever on the ground of religion or on any other ground then certainly no one will ever dare to indulge in acts of communal violence! It is here that our penal laws need to be revised most thoroughly and amended accordingly. We all know fairly well that Centre is presently in the process of revising our penal laws. Whether it amends what all I have mentioned here is in the exclusive domain of Centre and so the ball is clearly in Centre’s court!
To conclude, it must be said that we who are just ordinary citizens of India have just no option to exercise but to keep our fingers completely crossed and watch everything just like a mere spectator as we have virtually no power to do anything in this regard! Let’s fervently hope that Centre acts most promptly on this and not just watch everything like a helpless and mute spectator! If Centre still fails to do anything most seriously on this score as we are seeing till now where rioters are able to escape easily then there is more to it than meets the eye and Centre is clearly culpable for not rising to the occasion and addressing this most serious menace root and branch so that it does not surface repeatedly as we saw most unfortunately in different States so shockingly!
It deserves to be asked: Why should they be spared who indulge in acts of terror by attacking people participating peacefully in any religious procession? Similarly if someone or a group of people who as participant in any religious procession raises provocative slogans and indulges in acts of violence without any provocation too must be made to face the long arms of law and punished most strictly! Of course, there should be just no discrimination of any kind in ensuring that the rioters are punished most strictly! Only then will a loud and clear message go to one and all that riots, violence and killing would spoil their own entire life as also of their family! Also, those shameless and heartless politicians who give provocative hate speeches must be permanently debarred from contesting elections! It definitely merits no reiteration of any kind whatsoever that no one should be spared who indulges in spreading blind hatred and violence whether it is a leader or a lawyer or anyone else!