Mob lynching: Government’s new panel to combat menace
Union home minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday the government will enact a law, if necessary, to curb the rising incidents of lynchings across the country as the opposition mounted an attack on the issue in Parliament. Singh said in the Lok Sabha the government has taken the issue seriously and would look at taking stringent action against the culprits. Singh’s comment came after 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. Opposition parties, mainly the Congress and the Trinamool Congress, raised the issue in the Lower House during Zero Hour and demanded that the Centre deal with such violent incidents. Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati even accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of the lynchings and sought the intervention of the courts. “Mob lynching is a deed of narrow-minded BJP members and supporters, but they consider it patriotism. I condemn the Alwar lynching incident but think that the BJP won’t be able to take appropriate action in the case,” Mayawati said. Singh’s ministry on Monday announced two high-level committees to suggest ways and legal framework to effectively deal with such incidents. One of the committees is headed by Singh and the other by Union home secretary Rajiv Gauba. 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 Supreme Court will hear a petition seeking contempt action against the Rajasthan government in connection with Khan’s lynching on August 28.