Condemn lynch mobs, onus of law and order on states: Rajnath Singh
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Condemn lynch mobs, onus of law and order on states: Rajnath Singh

Rajnath Singh maintained that law and order was a state subject but added the Centre cannot remain silent on the issue.

india Updated: Jul 19, 2018 23:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rajnath Singh,Lynchings,Lok Sabha
Union home minister Rajnath Singh arrives at Parliament House on the first day of the monsoon session, in New Delhi.(PTI File Photo)

Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday blamed rumours and unverified or fake news for the recent spate of lynchings across the country. He expressed concern over such incidents while insisting they were not a new trend.

“There have been such incidents in the past too,” he told the Lok Sabha in response to Congress member of parliament K C Venugopal’s statement that mob lynchings had become “the order of the day.”

Venugopal questioned the government’s silence over Union minister Jayant Sinha’s felicitation earlier this month of seven cow vigilantes convicted of lynching a Muslim meat trader in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh last year. Sinha had garlanded some of the convicts, who met him at his residence after their release on bail.

“Is this the rule of the law? These are very serious issues. I request the government to secure the democratic environment of the country,” Venugopal said.

He cited an attack by alleged Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) youth wing activists on social activist Swami Agnivesh in Jharkhand’s Pakur district on Tuesday, and demanded a law to prevent lynchings.

Rajnath Singh maintained that law and order was a state subject but added the Centre cannot remain silent on the issue. “I have issued advisories to state government in 2016 and 2018. We have asked social media service providers to install checks (to check propagation of fake news). Such incidents are unfortunate. We have asked chief ministers to take firm action against the culprits,” Rajnath Singh said.

There was commotion in the Lok Sabha as some BJP members protested against Venugopal’s speech.

Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Jyotiraditya Scindia urged the speaker to allow Venugopal to complete his submission, saying he had taken up a serious matter concerning the nation.

The Congress and Communist Party of India (Marxist) members later walked out of the house to express dissatisfaction over the home minister’s statement.

Over two dozen people have been lynched across the country, mostly over child kidnapping rumours spread via messaging application WhatsApp. A mob killed a software engineer, Mohammad Azam, in the latest such incident in Karnataka’s Bidar last week.

First Published: Jul 19, 2018 14:15 IST