Vigilante justice might have been glorified by superhero movies and fiction but the reality remains that such incidents rarely result in a just outcome.
This was the case as events unfolded on Kaafu Atoll island of Dhiffushi last Thursday when an angry mob of locals attacked 35-year-old Mohamed Shiham after they had accused him of molesting a 14-year-old girl.
A video of Shiham had been circulated on social media in which he gave a harrowing account of what had happened to him last Thursday.
Shiham had been visiting the island with his wife and children for the eid holidays and said that an angry group of locals had confronted him at a store on the island.
He said that the group had accused him of molesting a girl and that he had downright denied the accusations. But he said that they wouldn't listen and kept up with their accusations saying that the girl herself had said that Shiham had molested her.
Shiham said at that point the angry mob had dragged him out of the store violently and started relentlessly beating him.
He recounted that the mob had him surrounded and that they kept on beating him even when he was taken into the hospital. Shiham said that the crowd had then demanded that he confess to the molestation and when he refused, they threatened to kill him.
In a tearful recollection, Shiham said that authorities in the hospital had allowed the crowd to take him out of the facility and continue attacking him. He said that while there were doctors and hospital admin staff present at the scene, they didn't move to treat him.
Surprisingly, Shiham accused that Policemen were also present at the scene and that a sergeant-ranked officer had verbally abused him and threatened to bodily harm him.
He said that the few of those attacking him had addressed a crowd of locals gathered outside the hospital and lied that Shiham had confessed to the molestation accusation.
Alarmingly, Shiham said that the group had beaten him for three hours and had only stopped when one of the individuals present had said that he might die due to his injuries. He added that his treatment began only then.
The mob attack against Shiham sparked violence on the island and the angry crowd was only controlled after more police officers were dispatched from Male'.
But in the subsequent confrontation, policemen were injured and they arrested a 22-year-old for attacking them during the incident.
Police are also investigating one of their own who they say had failed to maintain Police professional conduct during the incident.
Shiham had said on the video that his wife's ex-husband, who is from Dhiffushi, and his family were behind the mob attack against him.
Police are yet to make an arrest because of the mob attack and have remained silent over the molestation accusations against Shiham.