On 12th October 2017, the Citizens Against Hate Campaign organised a public consultation during which the fact finding report titled “lynching without end” was released. The report covered stories of lynching and encounter killings across eight Indian states with the maximum number of cases in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. The purpose of the report was to find the perpetrators of these hate crimes and the aftermath as well tracing the progress of the corresponding legal cases.
The report threw light on the fact most families affected by these crimes were poor. It showed the active police involvement in murders of cases like Khushnoor and others. The police files cross cases and the cases filed are seen as individual murders and not as hate crimes against victims all of which leads to hesitation in coming forward to file complaints.
The speakers included Harsh Mander, Rahul Roy, Colin Gonsalves, Leslie Martin, Sunil and many others. The consultation was moderated by Zoya Hasan. The participants consisted of students, activists, lawyers, representatives of people’s organisations and other progressive individuals. The speakers emphasized that these crimes are very systematic involving law and procedure at every step. They stressed on need for social and economic intervention for the families affected. It was also pointed out that encounter killings lynching cases, however, are not reported. The flaws of the judicial system on which citizens depend on justice were pointed out. The need to move beyond writing and release of reports was also realized and accountability at all levels was seen as a primary demand. All speakers spoke about need for unity among citizens, and progressive organizations in ensuring strong resistance and a resilient force. One of the speakers also pointed out that it is the goons of the political parties that organize and perpetrate such crimes and that the people are not oblivious to this and do not fall prey easily to their divisive tactics.
Representative of Lok Raj Sangathan welcomed the call for unity and spoke about LRS’s experience in working with people in relation to such cases. Lok Raj Sangathan recognizes that the problems of communal violence and lynching cannot be seen in isolation and that they are a symptom of the existing state. Another speaker said that India has started to realize that rights are not conferred by books or written in code, those who hold power will not give up their power easily which is why the people fight.
The consultation ended with a call to unite all forces against these organised crimes and working together to further expose the systemic efforts of the state apparatus.