The Gujarat government on Saturday announced that mob lynching would be considered a “serious offence” and any action that provokes such killings would be covered under Section 153 (A) of the Indian Penal Code, entailing a jail term of three years. Police commissioners and superintendents of police would be made nodal officers in such cases in their respective area “and it would be their responsibility to control incidents of this nature”, a release issued by the government stated.
The release also stated that the IPC section 153 (A) would also cover spread of fake news on social media or any other channel/medium, provocative speeches, provocative or objectionable literature/writings that could hurt sentiments.
The BJP government also said it was acting on the July 17 directive of the Supreme Court order in the Tehseen Poonawala vs Union of India case in which the apex court stated that nobody has the right to take law in their hands in the name of cow protection or compassion to animals or any other reason. The three-judge bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice D Y Chandrachud had also asked Parliament to frame a special law to tackle the problems posed by vigilante squads.
Gujarat has witnessed one case of mob lynching in recent months when a woman, suspected to be a child lifter, was beaten to death on June 26 in Ahmedabad.