Centre sets up panel to suggest ways to combat mob violence, lynchings

The panel will submit its recommendations to a ministerial committee, headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, which will submit its recommendations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

india Updated: Jul 23, 2018 18:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Mob lynchings,Alwar lynching,Rajnath
Home Minister Rajnath Singh leaves during the Monsoon Session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Monday, July 23, 2018. (PTI)

The Centre on Monday set up a four-member panel headed by Union home secretary Rajiv Gauba to formulate appropriate measures and legal framework to deal with mob lynching.

The panel will submit its recommendations to a ministerial committee, headed by Union home minister Rajnath Singh, which will submit its recommendations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a home ministry spokesperson said. The Supreme Court had recently directed the central government to act against mob violence and lynching.

The decision also came on a day when outrage continued following the alleged lynching of a man from Haryana in Rajasthan’s Alwar district Friday night when he was transporting two cows.

Earlier on Monday, the Centre sought a report from the BJP government in Rajasthan on the lynching after the Congress raised the incident in the Lok Sabha.

The Union home ministry asked the state government to provide details of the incident, the action taken to punish those involved in it and the steps taken to restore peace, news agency PTI reported.

The state government was asked to submit the report at the earliest, an official was cited as saying by the agency.

Rakbar Khan, alias Akbar of Kol village in Haryana’s Nuh district, was allegedly beaten to death late on Friday by suspected cow vigilantes in Ramgarh’s Lalavandi forests in Alwar district, where three people engaged in the cattle trade have been killed since April last year.

Pehlu Khan, a 50-year-old dairy farmer, was among those beaten to death by vigilantes suspecting him to be a cow smuggler in Alwar in April last year.

The local police came under fire from various quarters after it was reported that they took Khan to the hospital three hours after they found him. The police have also been accused of taking him to the police station initially and beating him up.

The incident, which triggered tension in the region, took place just four days after the Supreme Court slammed the Central and state governments for failing to prevent frequent lynchings, terming them “horrendous acts of mobocracy,” and issued a slew of directions to tackle them.

Police have arrested three men, including two associated with the local unit of Shiv Sena, in connection with the case. The Rajasthan police set up a high-level committee on Monday to probe the allegations of delay against Alwar Police in taking Khan to a hospital.

The lynching of Khan was also raised in the Lok Sabha by a member of Parliament from Congress, triggering protests from BJP members. The lower house faced an adjournment following a ruckus over the incident, which has drawn widespread condemnation amid similar lynchings across the country in the last few months.

The main opposition party and the government have been sparring with each other after Congress president Rahul Gandhi attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan ‘New India’ while referring to the alleged police inaction in the lynching case.

Union finance minister Piyush Goyal asked Gandhi to “stop jumping with joy every time a crime happens”.

“The state has already assured strict & prompt action. You divide the society in every manner possible for electoral gains & then shed crocodile tears. Enough is Enough. You are a MERCHANT OF HATE,” Goyal tweeted.

The Supreme Court will hear a petition seeking contempt action against the Rajasthan government in connection with Khan’s lynching. The top court will hear the petition on August 28.

First Published: Jul 23, 2018 18:54 IST