Saturday, April 13, 2024

Jharkhand Assembly passes bill against mob lynching amid BJP’s opposition

The Bill aims to provide effective protection of Constitutional rights and prevention of mob violence, claimed Hemant Soren’s government.

The Jharkhand Assembly on Tuesday passed the Prevention of Mob Violence and Mob Lynching Bill, 2021 amid opposition by the BJP legislators.

The new bill sets out a maximum punishment of life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 25 lakh for anyone found guilty of lynching or its abatement.

Jharkhand has now become the third Indian state – after West Bengal and Rajasthan – to have passed an anti-lynching bill.

The Bill aims to provide effective protection of Constitutional rights and prevention of mob violence, claimed Hemant Soren’s government.

The bill, according to PTI news agency, includes provisions like registering an FIR for disseminating “explosive and irresponsible” content, providing free medical care to victims and punishment for creating a “hostile environment” for victims or witnesses.

“Where the act leads to the victim suffering grievous hurt, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and with fine which shall not be less than three lakh rupees and may extend up to five lakh rupees,” read the draft of bill.

According to the new bill, a Nodal Officer will be appointed by the Director General of Police. A state co-ordinator not below the rank of the Inspector General of Police to be called the Nodal Officer to monitor and co-ordinate prevention of lynching.

The Nodal Officer will be required to hold regular meetings, at least once a month, with local intelligence units in the districts, so as to identify tendencies of vigilantism, mob violence or lynching in an area and take steps to prevent dissemination of offensive material through various social media platforms or any other means which could incite mob vigilantes.

Mob violence by Hindutva groups have been threatening Muslim, Dalit, Adivasi and other marginalised communities in the state.

In 2019, Tabrez Ansari, a 24-year-old Muslim was brutally killed by a Hindutva mob in Jharkhand. Tied to a pole, Ansari was also forced to shout “Jai Shri Ram”, a slogan increasingly used by Hindu far right groups. The mob beat Ansari for nearly 12 hours, before he was taken into custody and then hospital. He died in hospital of his injuries four days after he was attacked. Ansari’s wife had accused police of deliberately taking him to jail first – instead of a hospital – despite the critical injuries he suffered.

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