LYNCHINGS: Govt to enact law, if necessary: Rajnath
New Delhi, Jul 24 : The government will enact a law, if necessary, to curb the incidents of lynching, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today amid Opposition outcry over the growing number of such cases.
Singh also said the government has taken the issue seriously and would look at taking stringent action against the culprits, as the ruling coalition faced a scathing attack from the Congress, the Trinamool Congress and the Left parties in the Lok Sabha over the rising cases of lynching.
Opposition members created a din during the Zero Hour and many of them rushed to the Well, as a visibily peeved Speaker Sumitra Mahajan allowed some of the leaders to raise the issue after papers were laid.
Responding to the concerns expressed by the members, Singh said the government would enact a law, if necessary, to
curb the incidents of lynching.
On Monday, the Home Ministry announced setting up of two high-level committees to suggest ways and a legal framework to effectively deal with incidents of mob violence and lynching.
The committees were set up a week after the Supreme Court asked the central government to enact a law to deal with incidents of lynching and take action on mob violence.
Singh also said that lynching incidents have been happening for years and mentioned that the biggest lynchings happened in 1984 — a remark that elicited strong protests from the Congress members.
In the latest incident, a 28-year-old man was lynched on suspicion of being a cow smuggler in Lalawandi village in Rajasthan’s Alwar district on Saturday last.
As soon as the Zero Hour began, Opposition members, led by the Congress and the TMC, sought to raise certain issues and expressed unhappiness over not being given an opportunity.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge was heard saying it was “not a BJP house but the Lok Sabha.”
Kharge along with some party members as well as those from the Trinamool Congress, the TDP and the RJD trooped into the Well. after a few minutes, they went back to their seats.
Kharge demanded that a sitting Supreme Court judge should carry out an enquiry into the lynching incidents and take action based on the report.
Expressing concern over so many incidents of lynching, Deputy Speaker and AIADMK leader M Thambidurai urged the Centre to come forward and stop such incidents.
There is a need to study the root cause of such incidents and asserted that the first priority should be “law and order”, he said.
“Why is this (lynchings) happening? What is intelligence doing?… What is the role of the Centre,” he asked.
Centre, finally, wakes up to lynchings
Asks states to appoint nodal officer, task force to check menace
New Delhi, Jul 24 : To check incidents of lynching, the Centre has asked all states to appoint a superintendent of police-level officer in each district, set up a special task force for gathering intelligence and closely monitor social media contents, so that no one is attacked on the suspicion of being child-lifters or cattle-smugglers.
The Union Home Ministry also said wherever it is found that a police officer or an officer of the district administration has failed to comply with the directions to prevent, investigate and facilitate expeditious trial of any such crime of mob violence and lynching, it should be considered as an act of deliberate negligence and misconduct, and strong action must be taken against the official concerned.
The advisory has been sent to the states and Union territories following a Supreme Court directive issued in this regard on July 17.
“Incidents of violence and lynching by mobs in some parts of the country fuelled by various kinds of rumours and unverified news such as child lifting, theft, cattle smuggling etc, are a matter of serious concerns. Such instances of persons taking the law in their own hands run against the basic tenets of the rule of law.
“All state governments, UT administrations and their law enforcement agencies are requested to implement the directions of the Supreme Court in letter and spirit. A detailed report on the action taken in the matter may please be sent to the ministry at the earliest,” the advisory sent to chief secretaries and DGPs of the states and UTs said.
This is the second advisory on the issue, within a month.
The move came in the wake of constitution of a Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, and a committee, headed by the Union home secretary, to suggest legal framework to check incidents of lynching.
The Supreme Court directive said, “The state governments shall designate, a senior police officer, not below the rank of Superintendent of Police, as Nodal Officer in each district. Such nodal officer shall be assisted by one of the DSP rank officers in the district for taking measures to prevent incidents of mob violence and lynching.”
They shall constitute a special task force so as to procure intelligence reports about the people who are likely to commit such crimes or who are involved in spreading hate speeches, provocative statements and fake news, it said.
The state governments shall forthwith identify districts, sub-divisions and/or villages where instances of lynching and mob violence have been reported in the recent past. The process of identification should be done within a period of three weeks from July 17.
The secretary, home department, of the states concerned shall issue directives/ advisories to the nodal officers of the concerned districts for ensuring that the officer-in-charge of the police stations of the identified areas are extra cautious if any instance of mob violence within their jurisdiction comes to their notice.
The nodal officer, so designated, shall hold regular meetings (at least once a month) with the local intelligence units in the district along with all SHOs of the district to identify the existence of the tendencies of vigilantism, mob violence or lynching in the district and take steps to prohibit instances of dissemination of offensive material through different social media platforms or any other means for inciting such tendencies, the apex court directive stated.
The nodal officer shall also make efforts to eradicate hostile environment against any community or caste which is targeted in such incidents.
The Director General of Police shall issue a circular to the Superintendents of Police with regard to police patrolling in the sensitive areas keeping in view the incidents of the past and the intelligence obtained by the office of the Director General.
All law enforcement and intelligence agencies of the state governments shall monitor the social media platform and shall take action under the legal provision contained in Information Technology Act and other relevant law to curb and stop dissemination of irresponsible and explosive messages, videos and other material on various social media platforms which have a tendency to incite mob violence and lynching of any kind.
The police should register FIR against persons who disseminate irresponsible and explosive messages and videos having content which is likely to incite mob violence and lynching of any kind.
Wherever it is found that a police officer or an officer of the district administration has failed to comply with the aforesaid directions in order to prevent and/or investigate and/or facilitate expeditious trial of any crime of mob violence and lynching, the same shall be considered as an act of deliberate negligence and/or misconduct for which appropriate action must be taken against him/her and not limited to departmental action under the service rules, the Supreme Court had said.
Departmental action shall be taken to its logical conclusion preferably within six months by the authority of the first instance, it had said in the directive.