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Mainstream, VOL LX No 17, New Delhi, April 16, 2022

Letter to the Readers, Mainstream, April 16, 2022

Friday 15 April 2022

Letter to the Readers, Mainstream, April 16, 2022

Summary justice with disregard for rule of law has been on open display in Madhya Pradesh following Ram Navami violence in Khargone recently. Police rounded up and arrested over 70 odd suspects involved in the violence in Kahrgone and a day after the violence sent in bulldozers to demolish their homes or shops and some 45 properties were demolished [1]. Institutions of the state and the enforcement agencies are supposed to strictly follow the rule of law but the immediate demolition of properties associated with alleged suspects involved in the violence completely runs counter to the legally defined parameters of system of justice. According to news reports [2] some shop owners have said that they did not get any notice from the authorities for the demolition. Appropriate punishment against perpetrators of crime can only be taken once their involvement in a crime has been legally established and they have been convicted. Demolition of homes of suspects or their shops or workplaces as has happened in Madhya Pradesh amounts to punishment being meted to their entire families in flagrant violation of legal limits and breach of International Human Rights Law. Such high handed action by Governments in India further stains our reputation as a democracy. The courts must take suo moto notice and put a stop to such patently illegal action of punishing people without any due process and also call for action against the failure of the police and administration to prevent communal violence that seems to recur every year at specific times.

April 16, 2022 – HK

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