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No data on mob lynchings, but it’s states’ job to prevent them, Modi govt tells Rajya Sabha

MoS Home Nityanand Rai's written reply to TMC MP Jawhar Sircar's question also lists advisories govt has sent to states to prevent mob lynching and bring culprits to book.

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New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs told the Rajya Sabha Wednesday that while there is no data available on the number of mob lynchings in the country in the past five years, it is the responsibility of state governments to prevent such incidents. The ministry also said that several advisories have been sent to states on this issue.

“Police and public order are state subjects under the seventh schedule to the Constitution of India, and state governments are responsible for prevention, detection, registration and investigation of crime and for prosecuting the criminals through their law enforcement agencies,” Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai told the House, in response to an unstarred question from Trinamool Congress MP Jawhar Sircar. Unstarred questions are those to which written answers are given, and the minister’s response has been uploaded on the Rajya Sabha website.

“National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) publishes crime data received from all the states/union territories under various crime heads defined under the Indian Penal Code and special & local laws. No separate data on persons killed or injured by vigilante groups or mobs or crowds is maintained by NCRB,” Rai added.

Incidents of mob lynching have been reported with some regularity from across the country for the past several years.

Last month in Assam, a 23-year-old student leader was allegedly killed by a mob. In October a man was allegedly lynched, his limbs cut off and left to die at the Singhu Border, site of the farmers’ protest against the three farm laws. In August, a bangle seller in Indore was reportedly beaten up by a mob for allegedly hiding his identity. The man survived and was sent to judicial custody. In May this year, a 25-year-old Gurugram man was allegedly lynched when he went out to buy medicines.

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Advisories sent to states

Rai listed out three advisories that had been sent to the states in 2018, asking for perpetrators of such incidents to be punished, and for social media to be monitored for any potentially incendiary posts that could trigger such incidents.

“An advisory dated 04.07.2018 was issued to the states and UTs to keep watch on circulation of fake news and rumours having potential of inciting violence, take all required measures to counter them effectively and to deal firmly with persons taking law into their own hands,” Rai said in his reply.

“Further, advisories dated 23.07.2018 and 25.09.2018 were issued to the state governments/UT administrations for taking measures to curb incidents of mob lynching in the country. The government through audio-visual media has also generated public awareness to curb the menace of mob lynching. The government has also sensitised the service providers to take steps to check the propagation of false news and rumours having potential to incite mob violence and lynching,” the minister added.

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)

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