The deteriorating justice system of Pakistan has increasingly urged citizens to take matters into their own hands.
In this regard the police in Gujranwala recently arrested 14 people in connection with the death of a scrap dealer on suspicions of him being a motorcycle thief. The unfortunate man, who was pushing his vehicle towards a petrol station after running out of gas, was tied up and viciously tortured by people around.
He later succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.
Mob lynching has become a frightening norm and surging trends reveal the pent-up anger of the people. The entire nation has witnessed a 49-year-old Sri Lankan man lynched by his factory colleagues. The case of Mashal Khan and the two brothers, Mughees and Muneeb Butt, are similar gruesome reminders. While many cases involve religious accusations, this particular incident was ignited by the fact that instances of robbery have increased drastically across the country due to high inflation and deplorable socio-economic conditions. It is common that when robbers are caught by the people, onlookers gather around to release their frustration on them in a violent manner. Many a time, the police are forced to step in and save the perpetrators. People claim that these notorious robbers are relentless in looting and killing innocent citizens, and therefore need to be treated in a similar manner as a form of deterrence. However, regardless of the justifications presented, no one should be allowed to take the law into their own hands. Basic rights need to be upheld and human dignity must prevail. We, as a society, cannot descend to such a horrendously low moral level.
That being said, the government must acknowledge that there is a tremendous gap between the common man and institutions that uphold justice. Work must be done to reform the court, prison and police system of the country in order to ensure that adequate services are being provided by the state so that such trends do not emerge in the future.