Campaign against mob-lynching, activists threatens to launch a country-wide stir

Campaign against mob-lynching, activists threatens to launch a country-wide stir
A group of activists, academicians and students union leaders are bracing up for launching a movement against what they call as “rising cases of lynching by mobs” in different parts of the country.

Rolling out a national campaign against “mob lynching” here on Monday, they demanded that the Centre must bring in a new law to bring the culprits of such violence to justice as the current provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) were inadequate to deal with such cases.

They also constituted a committee of civil society members, which included senior Supreme Court lawyer Sanjay Hegde, social activists, artists and academicians, to formulate a draft of the anti-mob lynching legislation.

The group comprised of Gujarat Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani; Tehseen Poonawalla, a kin of Robert Vadra and Congress sympathiser; as well as Kanhaiya Kumar and Shehla Rashid, former president and vice president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) respectively.

“We will hand over the draft of the legislation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Prime Minister for its enactment. The need of our times is a specific law to deal with vigilantism. The government must promulgate an ordinance as soon as possible and make lynching a non-bailable offence with punishment up to life imprisonment,” Poonawalla told reporters at a press conference.

Mevani, who led a Dalit agitation in Gujarat last year, threatened to launch a “massive stir across the country” in July if the Central government does not take any action towards enactment of the anti-mob-lynching law to be proposed by a committee of civil society members.

“It will will one year of Una alit uprising on July 11. If anti-mob lynching law to be proposed by us is not enacted by July 11, we will once again launch a nationwide stir from the streets of Gujarat and make the government fulfil our demand,” Mevani said.

Addressing the media, ex-JNUSU president also threatened of launching a “massive stir” to press their demand for enactment of anti-mob lynching law. “Mob lynching has become a phenomenon in India these days, Individuals are being lynched by a mob not just in the name of the cow but for various other reasons including food habits. On every such incidents, authorities shrug off their responsibilities by saying that a mob does not have a face. There is need to identify those faces and bring them to justice,” he said.

On why a special law was required to deal with the cases of mob lynching, Hegde said such incidents are aggravated offences which require special provisions for investigation and fixing the accountability of both culprits and authorities.

“A mob is made to happen. It doesn't just come out from nowhere. Who fans such mob? Who participates in mob violence? We have to make each and everyone accountable. This is not possible under the provisions of the IPC. We have many communal violence in this country but we have never been able to catch the conspirators,” he added.

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