Home Editor's picks A tale of two mobs: Rioting mob in Bulandshahr does not garner media sympathy, but in Kashmir it does

A tale of two mobs: Rioting mob in Bulandshahr does not garner media sympathy, but in Kashmir it does

Why, when both mobs are angry civilians, the so-called liberals demonise one but empathise with the other?

Early morning on Saturday, 15th December, supporters of terrorists clashed with security forces after an encounter and in retaliatory action, ‘civilians’ were killed. According to Kashmir Police, “While the operation was going on, a crowd who came dangerously close from different parts to the encounter site got injured.” This encounter also killed 3 terrorists including one Abdul Majid Thoker who had deserted the Army last year to join the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit.

Former DGP of Kashmir, Shesh Paul Vaid tweeted his anguish at the lost lives.

He explained that ‘civilians’ are constantly instigated by terrorists and their masters across the border in Pakistan to reach such encounter sites and disrupt the operations by pelting stones. Such people then, unfortunately, get caught in the crossfire and precious lives are lost.

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The deaths of those killed get tremendous media sympathy, with the narrative being the retaliatory firing being ‘mindless killing’.

Sympathy for those ‘civilians’ killed flowed from all quarters for them.

Including from across the border.

So did anger for the security forces.

The ‘other’ mob

Barely fifteen days back, a stray bullet from a Policeman’s gun killed a 17-year-old boy in Chingrawati village of Bulandshahr district in Uttar Pradesh. The boy, Sumit’s parents were inconsolable as they recounted how their young son had just gone to the bus stop to drop off his friend and was at a wrong place at a wrong time when the bullet from Inspector Subodh Singh’s pistol killed him. Inspector Singh was later killed in mob violence, the investigation of which is being carried out by an SIT.

As soon as the news broke of the incident, the sympathies were with the police officer here and 17-year-old Sumit was painted as a violent 20-something stone-pelter who had political affiliations. Almost as if justifying his killing by Inspector Singh’s bullet. Inspector Singh was the only ‘victim’ for whom the hearts bled.

If a mob gathers in Uttar Pradesh, it absolutely cannot be a peaceful protest because a policeman (who first ‘accidentally shot’ an innocent civilian) got killed. But if a mob gathers in Kashmir, tries to disrupt encounter proceedings against terrorists, pelts stones at the security forces, and if retaliatory firing kills them, it is excessive use of force by the security forces.

Bulandshahr incident, just like the various incidents in Kashmir is not a stray incident. Horror stories of mob violence from Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh keep appearing even in mainstream media, but hardly any of these ‘mobs’ get any sympathy the way stone-pelters in the valley get. In fact, celebrity journalists some days wonder when would this ‘mob lynching madness’ stop.

but when mob pelts stones on security forces, they hardly ever condemn their actions.

Trolls with fictitious ‘sources’ masquerading as journalists too have a soft spot for stone-pelters.

But ‘lynching’ will stop only if police shoots at the mob.

Why the duality? Why, when both mobs are ‘angry civilians’, the so-called liberals demonise one but empathise with the other? Why is an angry gau rakshak mocked, ridiculed for protesting against killings of cows, but a Pakistan sponsored ‘protesting mob’ which takes to stone-pelting at security forces garners empathy? Why the double standards? Why are some lives less equal than others?

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