The government has informed Lok Sabha that it had created a Group of Ministers (GoM) under Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and a high-level committee under Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba to “deliberate” and “make recommendations” for a separate penal provision on incidents of mob violence.
The committee led by Gauba will submit its recommendations to the GoM in four weeks. The GoM, which includes External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot, will examine these recommendations and submit its report to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Gauba committee will include secretaries of the departments of Justice, Legal Affairs, Legislative Department and Social Justice and Empowerment as its members.
In its reply to Parliament recently, the Home Ministry said it “does not maintain” data on lynching incidents. As many as 31 deaths across nine states have been reported in acts of lynching, the most recent being the one in Alwar, Rajasthan, where a 32-year-old man, Rakbar Khan, was lynched by a mob on suspicion of cow smuggling. Khan and his friend Aslam were taking two cows to their village in Haryana. The Home Ministry has sought a report from the Rajasthan government on the Alwar incident.
In a statement announcing the GoM Monday, the Home Ministry said: “Government is concerned at the incidents of violence by mobs in some parts of the country. Government has already condemned such incidents and made its stand clear in the Parliament that it is committed to upholding the rule of law and adopting effective measures to curb such incidents.