Time and again demands have been made for a law to combat lynching. Discuss why the law alone will not be a panacea.
The Supreme Court has directed the Centre and all states to frame stringent laws against lynching. The state of Manipur passed an anti-lynching law last November, Rajasthan and West Bengal have passed such legislation more recently.
Why the law alone is not enough?
- The stringent laws will be futile unless they are strictly enforced on the ground.
- The Political patronage to fundamentalist elements will deter the policemen from doing their duty.
- The Uttar Pradesh Law Commission has rightly stressed on the need to take stringent action against officials for dereliction of their duties.’
Tackling menace of Lynching
- Alongside monitoring fake news and arresting those who originate and forward such news that could trigger mob violence or communal unrest, the police must expand its intelligence dragnet to such an extent that any plan to upset the law and order machinery is reported to the control room within minutes.
- Districts which are communally sensitive must be provided with additional armed and well-equipped companies to rush to any spot within minutes to handle frenzied mobs.
- Since it is likely that every effort will be made to influence the victims and witnesses to either withdraw the case or to give statements that would weaken the prosecution’s case, it is necessary to undertake prompt investigations into incidents of mob lynching followed by arrests and trial by fast track courts
It is necessary to thrust responsibility and accountability on police to protect the witnesses and the victims. Further, lynching must be made a non-bailable offence. Along with the culprits, Policemen who watch as mute spectators must be tried in the same manner as the culprits.