JAIPUR: The Rajasthan government has decided to enact a law to curb incidents of mob lynching and honour killing. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot made this announcement on Tuesday while replying to a debate on the state budget in the Assembly.
Expressing concern over the rising incidents of mob lynching, Gehlot said that his government is keen to tackle this growing menace and will soon introduce a Bill against mob lynching and honour killing.
The Alwar district in Rajasthan had hit national headlines for cow lynching and death of Rakbar Khan and Pehlu Khan in the last two years. Rakbar Khan alias Akbar and his companion Aslam, from Kolgaon, Haryana, were taking two cows on the night of 20th July 2018 from the village of Lalavandi in Ramgarh to Haryana.
People caught Rakbar and Aslam accusing them of cow smuggling. Aslam fled, but Rakbar was badly beaten. In the night, the local police took the cows along with Rakbar to the police station but then made sure that the cows were taken back to the ‘gaushala’. Meanwhile Rakbar lay bleeding and due to the delay in treatment he succumbed to his injuries.
Similarly on 1st April 2017, Pehlu Khan was beaten in Alwar's Behror town for alleged cow smuggling. On 4th April, he succumbed to his injuries.Pehlu Khan lynching case in Rajasthan has been recently re-opened as Alwar's local court has allowed the police to investigate again.
The police had filed a chargesheet against Pehlu Khan's son Irshad, Arif and truck operator Khan Mohammed on May 24. They were charged under various sections of the Rajasthan Bovine Animal ( Prohibition of slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or export ) Act 1995.
Gehlot had said that the investigation of the case was held in the previous government in 2017-18 and if there is any discrepancy in this investigation then his government will again investigate. "Our government will see that the investigation in this case was not done with a predetermined intention", Gehlot had said.
However, the opposition BJP is protesting against the move to make any new law. The party claims that when strict laws against mob lynching and honour killing are already in existence, it is pointless to bring any fresh law.
Gyandev Ahuja, state vice president for the BJP said, "Already people who were involved in mob lynching cases are under arrest and the law is quite strong. There are several sections of IPC and CRPC to also tackle cases of mob lynching and honour killing. We can't understand what weaknesses the Chief Minister sees in the present circumstances that he now needs to bring a new law. Its beyond our comprehension as to what the Chief Minister really wants to do."
But civil society organisation PUCL points out that there were 7 deaths due to lynching in Rajasthan between 2015-2018 and strong steps are needed to counter this dreadful menace.