Facing widespread criticism from all quarters, including the Supreme Court that flayed the “sweeping” incidents of lynching and called for a law to deal with such “horrendous acts of mobocracy”, the Centre on Monday set up a high-level committee and a Group of Ministers headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh to check mob lynchings.

In the latest incident of lynching, a Muslim man was killed by suspected cow vigilantes in Alwar, Rajasthan, on the suspicion of cow smuggling.

The officials’ committee will be headed by Home Secretary RK Gauba, and have secretaries of the departments of justice, legal affairs, legislative and social justice and empowerment as its members.

“In order to formulate appropriate steps to address the (mob lynching) situation, the government has set up a high-level committee to deliberate and make recommendations within four weeks,” said a Home Ministry statement.

The government also decided to constitute a Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Rajnath Singh to consider the committee’s recommendations.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad and Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot are members of the GoM.

The GoM will submit its recommendations to the Prime Minister.

The government has come under attack over a spate of lynchings, especially of those belonging to the minority communities, by suspected cow protection vigilantes.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi referred to the Alwar killing as a “brutal new India” being prepared by the BJP-led NDA government. Leaders of various other parties have also condemned these killings and have blamed the central government for creating an “environment of fear and reprisal” against the minority community.

The MHA had issued an advisory on July 4 urging the states and union territories to take steps to prevent mob violence and lynchings and also take stringent action against the culprits.

The states have been advised to implement the Supreme Court directions issued on July 17, said the statement.

An advisory was issued on August 9, 2016 on the disturbances created by miscreants in the name of cow protection, the MHA added.

(With agency inputs)