Amidst demands for stern action to curb mob violence in the name of cow protection, Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said there was no need to bring in any new law or make changes to existing provisions to punish those involved in such incidents. “Whether a murder has been committed by one person or by a group of ten people, there are adequate provisions in law to deal with such situations. State governments are empowered to implement these laws. I don’t think we need to bring in any new law or amend any existing law,” Ahir said in reply to a supplementary question by Congress leader Digvijaya Singh in Rajya Sabha.
The main question, asked by Naresh Agrawal of the SP, sought details of mob violence and lynching in the name of cow vigilantism in the last three years. Agarwal also wanted to know about the organisations that had executed such attacks. In his written reply, Ahir said such details could only be provided by the state governments since law and order was a state subject. “From our side, the Prime Minister has already spoken against these incidents and warned people not to take law in their hands. The home ministry has also issued an advisory and asked the state governments to immediately register FIRs whenever such incidents are reported, and act promptly to punish the guilty. In many cases, action has already been taken and arrests have been made. Four people have been arrested in Haryana, three in West Bengal. In Jharkhand, two big incidents had taken place, one in Hazaribagh and the other in Ramgarh. Eighteen people have been arrested at one place while another 12 have been arrested in the other incident. In Maharashtra also, four people have been arrested,” the minister said.
Ahir, however, told the House that the National Crime Records Bureau, which collates crime-related data from all over the country, does not maintain any separate records on mob violence or cow vigilantism-related cases.