Collective Violence – Examples – Part VIII

It’s been several months since I last blogged about mob violence. Nonetheless, it has continued in many forms. Below are some of the latest incidents reported as mob violence or mob justice. (And here’s why I’m doing it.)

OCT. and NOV. 2008

21 Oct, Uganda: A 26-year-old man was “clobbered to death” by a mob over allegations of defiling a 11-year-old girl and after he attempted to kill the girl’s mother by cutting her with a panga. Police said that by “harming the complainant, Ndyanabo angered the residents who pounced on him and beat him to death.”


22 Oct, Maharashtra, India: “A wave of mob violence swept through Thane, Kalyan and Dombivli on Tuesday as Maharashtra Navnirman Sena supporters held the entire belt to ransom, torching buses and cars and bashing up policemen to protest the arrest of their leader. … More than 1,000 men who assembled outside the magistrate’s court in Kalyan on Tuesday evening went berserk, burning down four bikes and a car parked nearby. The otherwise bustling market area outside Kalyan station was transformed into a riot zone with MNS supporters lobbing stones at the police. The restless mob, which was waiting outside the court premises since the evening, turned violent after news came in that their leader would spend the night at Manpada police station in Dombivli. … MNS activists targeted eight autorickshaws, one taxi and six Thane Metropolitan Transport buses. The toll naka at Anand Nagar was burnt down by violent mobs.”


28 Oct, Bugiri, Uganda: “An irate mob in Buyubu village, Kapianga subcounty in Bugiri district on Sunday lynched a suspected thief. The incident happened at 6:00am, after residents intercepted 22-year-old Muhammad Isabirye, who was carrying his neighbour’s goat on his shoulders. … Isabirye was killed at the very spot where another suspected thief was killed in 2006.”


30 Oct, Mumbai, India: “Six Marathi-speaking youths were arrested … for allegedly severely thrashing a labourer from Uttar Pradesh, who later died in hospital, and also beating three of his companions in a Karjat-CST local train on Tuesday. The police specified that the youths were not associated with any political party and the killing was not a hate crime. Instead, the police put the reason down to a fight over a window seat.” The labourer died after being attacked “by a group of 10 to 12 passengers” when he and his friends wouldn’t move seats. There’s some indication that his ethnicity may have been a factor in the violence.


14 Nov., Southampton, UK: A group of teens stole another teenager’s cell phone (and hit him) because they didn’t like the music he was playing. The victim’s 41-year-old father tried to get the phone back from those he thought had stolen it:  He came across a group of youths on a cul-de-sac, “spoke to them about the phone and after being verbally abusive towards him the youths then attacked him by punching and kicking him to the ground. It’s believed he was also hit with some metal objects. …  Police have arrested seven youths aged 15 and 16 as part of the investigation. ”


20 Nov, Tiwi, Kenya:  “The Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa has condemned mob violence in which eleven youths suspected to have been terrorising the residents of Tiwi village in Kwale District were lynched last week. Investigations by the Catholic Justice and Peace Office in Kwale found that Tiwi had been plagued by insecurity for a very long time and the youths in the village were prompted to take action following alleged police laxity.”


DEC. 2008


05 Dec., Jos, Nigeria: A week after violent clashes left at least 300 people dead and thousands displaced in the central Nigerian city of Jos, the fires have yet to be put out, both literally and figuratively.” Jos lies between “the mostly Christian south and Muslim north.” The latest fighting was sparked by protests over local election results.

In every household, church and mosque, people blamed followers of the other religion with planning and executing the attacks.

“Ibrahim Saleh Hassan did not get angry as he watched his home looted and burned down by an angry mob, or when he when he found out later that all 31 vehicles at his car dealership had been torched. His anger finally did come when he realized that his seven year-old son had seen the mob kill the family’s four dogs before the child’s eyes.”

“Local police have arrested a group of water vendors from the neighboring country Niger and accused them of being mercenaries. However, analysts say they are being used as scapegoats.”

“The state commissioner for information, Nuhu Gagara, admitted that local politicians and businessmen had paid youths to stir up violence, even buying weapons, including firearms for them. This tactic, called “godfathering,” is familiar in Nigeria around election time. ”


06 Dec and into January, Athens, Greece: Mob rioting throughout most of December 2008, apparently sparked by the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old boy by police in Athens on 6 Dec, after a group of about 6 youths threw stones at a police patrol car; the teen was shot as he tried to throw a petrol bomb at the officers, police said, and then other teens converged.  One officer was charged with manslaughter with intent and the other as an accomplice.

Examples: Gangs of youths smashed their way through central Athens and Thessaloniki on 6 Dec. torching dozens of stores and buildings. In Athens, rioters torched the capital’s massive Christmas tree in central Syntagma Square. In Thessaloniki, “hundreds of masked and hooded youths hurled rocks and molotov cocktails at storefronts and riot police, who responded with tear gas.”

By 9 Dec., rioting had spread to new municipalities, including Trikala, Larissam and Veria.

“‘Rage is what I feel for what has happened, rage, and that this cop who did it must see what it is to kill a kid and to destroy a life,” a student in Athens told reporters Monday.”

See photos.

Violence continues into January (BBC), with a Greek policeman shot and critically injured on 5 January, possibly by a domestic militant group called Revolutionary Struggle.


26 Dec., Costa Mesa, CA, USA: “Doctors in Orange County said Monday that a homeless man attacked by a group of teens with paintball guns may lose sight in one eye. ” The man was sitting in an alley “when five or six teenage boys approached him with paintball guns,” and apparently shot him “at point-blank range 25 to 35 times in the face, head, hands, and upper-body area.” His eye was out of its socket.  “Authorities said the attack appeared to be unprovoked. … The boys have yet to be identified or reprimanded. Police were looking on Internet sites like YouTube for clues because, they said, teens often like to post pictures of their bad behavior for bragging purposes.”


JAN. 2009

01 Jan, Winnepeg, Canada:  “Four days after pictures of a 21-year-old bloodied and bruised man lying on the frozen ground outside a St. Boniface home appeared in the Winnipeg Sun,” police are still investigating the New Year’s day confrontation. …  Several people (one report says 5 men) apparently surrounded and tackled the would-be car thief as he tried to run away. Online comments suggest the man ‘fell’ in the struggle and “smashed his face into our boots.” There’s some indication that his ethnicity may have been a factor in the violence.


2 Jan, Mitrovica, Kosovo: “Two explosions and violent protests rocked the flashpoint town of Mitrovica late on Friday, destroying cars and damaging property in the latest bout of unrest triggered when a Serb teenager was hurt in a fight” on 30 Dec. ” Ethnic tensions in Mitrovica remain high after a Serb teenager was hurt by two knife-wielding Albanian teenagers on Dec. 30 which prompted hundreds of Serb protestors to burn down several Albanian shops and to damage cars with Kosovo licence plates.”


05 Jan., Pretoria, South Africa: “A Soshanguve man has been taken to hospital after community members beat him up for allegedly raping an 18-year-old girl in the area.” The man was a friend of the girl’s boyfriend. “He was beaten up so badly that when police and paramedics arrived at the scene they had to rush him to a nearby hospital.”


24 Jan, Majuli, India:  Returning from Majuli, where tribal people were  celebrating the priestly ordination of the first Catholic priest born in Majuli, Catholics were stopped by some local people along the way and were threatened “with statements like ‘Never come back again and if you do come back, we will cut you into pieces and throw you into the Brahmaputra [river].’  … The largest group at the ordination, with about 400 people,  was stopped by a group of about 600 people near the boat dock.” A pastor and a rector “were immediately pulled off the vehicle and beaten. The attackers shouted, ‘Here are the missionaries, kill these dogs,’ beating and kicking the two priests. Then they went to the bus, made the parishioners get off, and began to beat the men mercilessly.”


24 Jan, Malawi: Irate villagers kill suspected 60-year-old witch. “Unknown villagers in Karonga district took the law into their own hands when they stabbed to death a 60-year-old man for being suspected of practicing witchcraft.” He suffered “two deep cuts on his  stomach and left shoulder.” The assailants broke into his house while he was sleeping to attack him. “He died on his door step with his intestines hanging outside the body.”


25 Jan., Mangalore, India: 40 members of an alleged Hindutva vigilante team targeted and attacked eight women at a pub, injuring at least two, as well as men who came to the women’s aid. “Violation of traditional Indian norms is said to be the cause for the attack,” and one man who took responsibility for the attack said that the Hindu women had ‘dared to get close to Muslim men.” “According to one staff member, some of the assailants molested the women customers.”


FEB. 2009

1 Feb., New Delhi, India: “Two native missionaries in India were recovering from injuries Sunday, February 1, as they were beaten by an angry mob in the northeastern state of Manipur after showing a film in the life of Jesus, the latest in a series of attacks against evangelists in the Asian nation, co-workers said.” They had been warned not to show the film and told to leave the village: “As they were searching for another village to show the film again, two people claiming to be local officials allegedly stopped them for  interrogation,” accused them of being part of ‘a militant group‘.” A mob attacked them with sticks, and took their money as well as their belongings.


One thought on “Collective Violence – Examples – Part VIII

  1. There was another incident earlier this week in Uganda. On Monday an alleged witchdoctor was arrested for allegedly killing a woman. He died in police custody, “after a lynch mob tried to kill him.” Click on my name to learn more.

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