A poor tribal youth was brutally lynched on 22nd February 2018, by a mob in Attappady, Kerala over suspicion of theft of food items. The victim, identified as 27 years old Madhu, is reported to be mentally challenged who maintained sparse contact with his family. The mob caught him hiding near the Attappadi forest and lynched him before handing him to the police and he soon succumbed to his injuries.
What was perhaps most distressing was pictures that emerged later showed a man brazenly taking a selfie right before lynching Madhu to death. As demands of his arrest grew louder, netizens found a Facebook profile of a man named Ubaid whose page was filled with people condemning him for the act.
Today, the police have arrested the selfie-man, Mukkali Thodiyil Ubaid Ummar (25) and named him the fifth accused in the case.
Ubaid has been booked under various sections of the IPC including Prevention of Atrocities against Scheduled Tribes and IT acts for circulating pictures and videos of the lynching.
Allegations also emerged that Ubaid was the personal staff member of Muslim League politician and member of Kerala Legislative Assembly, N. Samsudheen. The MLA, however, has distanced himself from Ubaid and asserted that Ubaid only ‘participated in the election campaign’.
While Ubaid has been arrested and his links with Muslim League are in question, the crusaders for justice and secularism have still not broken their stoic silence.