National

States sent advisory on lynching

Representational image.

Representational image.   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

The Home Ministry on Tuesday issued another advisory to States and asked law enforcement and intelligence agencies to monitor social media platforms and stop the spread of “irresponsible and explosive messages, videos and other material which have a tendency to incite mob violence and lynching of any kind”.

The move came in the wake of the constitution of a group of Ministers, headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, and a committee, headed by the Union Home Secretary, to work on a legal framework to check incidents of lynching. Mr. Singh informed Parliament on Tuesday that the government would enact a law, if required.

The Ministry asked the States to set up a special task force for gathering intelligence so that no one was attacked on the suspicion of being a child-lifter or cattle-smuggler.

“Wherever it is found that a police officer or an officer of the district administration has failed to comply with the directions to prevent, investigate and facilitate expeditious trial of any such crime of mob violence and lynching, it should be considered as an act of deliberate negligence and misconduct, and strong action must be taken,” the advisory said.

The advisory has been sent to the States and Union territories following a Supreme Court directive issued in this regard on July 17.

“Incidents of violence and lynching by mobs in some parts of the country fuelled by various kinds of rumours and unverified news such as child lifting, theft, cattle smuggling etc, are a matter of serious concerns. Such instances of persons taking the law in their own hands run against the basic tenets of the rule of law. All State governments, UT administrations and their law enforcement agencies are requested to implement the directions of the Supreme Court in letter and spirit. A detailed report on the action taken in the matter may please be sent to the ministry at the earliest,” the advisory sent to Chief Secretaries and DGPs of the States and UTs said.

This is the second advisory on the issue, within a month.

The move came in the wake of constitution of a Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by Home Minister. “The State governments shall forthwith identify districts, sub-divisions and/or villages where instances of lynching and mob violence have been reported in the recent past. The process of identification should be done within a period of three weeks from July 17,” the SC order said.

The Secretary, Home Department, of the States concerned shall issue directives/advisories to the nodal officers of the concerned districts for ensuring that the officer-in-charge of the police stations of the identified areas are extra cautious if any instance of mob violence within their jurisdiction comes to their notice.

The nodal officer, so designated, shall hold regular meetings (at least once a month) with the local intelligence units in the district along with all SHOs of the district to identify the existence of the tendencies of vigilantism, mob violence or lynching in the district and take steps to prohibit instances of dissemination of offensive material through different social media platforms or any other means for inciting such tendencies, the apex court directive stated. The nodal officer shall also make efforts to eradicate hostile environment against any community or caste which is targeted in such incidents.

The Director General of Police shall issue a circular to the Superintendents of Police with regard to police patrolling in the sensitive areas keeping in view the incidents of the past and the intelligence obtained by the office of the Director General.

The SC said that the police should register FIR against persons who disseminate irresponsible and explosive messages and videos having content which is likely to incite mob violence and lynching of any kind. Wherever it is found that a police officer or an officer of the district administration has failed to comply with the aforesaid directions in order to prevent and/or investigate and/or facilitate expeditious trial of any crime of mob violence and lynching, the same shall be considered as an act of deliberate negligence and/or misconduct for which appropriate action must be taken against him/her and not limited to departmental action under the service rules, the Supreme Court had said.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 3:17:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/states-sent-advisory-on-lynching/article24505689.ece

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