To check incidents of lynching, the Centre on Wednesday asked all states to make the general public aware that mob violence of any kind will invite serious consequences under the law.
Quoting Monday’s directive of the Supreme Court, the Home Ministry told the states that preventive measures must be taken to check incidents of lynching which have taken place in different parts of the country in recent past.
The Supreme Court has ordered that the central and state governments should broadcast on radio and television and other media platforms, including the official websites of the home department and police of the states, that lynching of any kind shall invite serious consequences under the law.
“We have asked the state governments to comply with the order of the Supreme Court,” a home ministry official said.
In an earlier advisory, the home ministry had asked the 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 suspicion of being child-lifter or cattle-smuggler.
The home ministry also said that 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.
“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 Union Territories (UT) had said.
A Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, is also deliberating on legal framework to be set up to check incidents of lynching.
Singh had said in Parliament that the government will enact a law, if required, to curb incidents of lynching.