MHA Washes Hands off Mob Lynching Cases, Hides Behind Crime Terminology

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In the last few years, the vigilante groups have become active in small towns across India. — File photo

Nityanand Rai, the Deputy Union Home Minister, informed the Lok Sabha that the National Crime Records Bureau has no separate data on the cases of lynching since these crimes are not defined.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), on Tuesday, has made it clear that it does not keep an official record of mob lynchings.

Nityanand Rai, the Deputy Union Home Minister, informed the Lok Sabha that the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has no separate data on the cases of lynching since these crimes are not defined. The minister informed this while replying to a query of Hibi Eden, a Member of Parliament (MP) from Kerala, whether the government is keeping a track on the cases of lynching across the country.

“No separate data of mob lynchings was maintained by the NCRB. The NCRB publishes crime data from all the states/Union territories under various crime heads which are defined under the Indian Penal Code and Special and Local Laws”: Rai said.

He, however, added that the government is mulling to review the criminal laws to align them with the contemporary law and order situation.

Eden’s question brought spotlight on the need for special laws to deal with the crimes which are mostly communal in nature and have seen a spike in the last seven years since the Modi government assumed power.

The Jharakhand government enacted a law against mob violence last year with provision to send culprits to jail for life.

The Home Ministry had given a similar statement in December when the issue was raised in the Parliament. That time a question was also raised as to whether the government has any plans to come up with a legal definition of ‘hate crime’.

In a dodgy response, the Home Ministry had said, “The intention of the government is to create a legal structure which is citizen-centric, prioritises to secure life, preserve human rights and provide speedy justice to the vulnerable sections of the society. The amendments in laws is a continuous process and amendments are made taking into account the views of various stakeholders.”

In 2019, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat had said that ‘lynching’ is a Western construct and should not be used to defame the country.

In absence of special laws to curb hate crimes and mob violence, critics say the rightwing elements are emboldened t resort to vigilantism while the hands of law enforcement agencies are tied.

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Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.

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