New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) Leaders of different political parties on Wednesday extended their support to a draft bill against lynching prepared by a civil society organisation and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to get it passed in the ongoing Monsoon Session of parliament.
The Manav Suraksha Kanoon (MASUKA), which defines the words ‘lynching’ and ‘mob’ and lists the measures that should be taken, including making it a non-bailable offence, to curb the crime, was prepared by ‘National Campaign Against Mob Lynching’ — a committee of social activists and student leaders — of which social activist Tehseen Poonawalla is a core member.
Speaking to media, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said that the Sangh Parivar’s line of thought is responsible for the recent lynchings and that it works in “a two-faced manner”.
“On one side, they are (Sangh) saying that lynchings in the name of cow protection is wrong, while (VHP leader) Praveen Togadia asks for training for Gau Rakshaks so that they can ‘correct’ people who kill cows,” he said. “They’re playing it together.”
The Congress leader said that Sangh and its 150-odd organisations plant seeds of hatred seeds in the minds of children at a very early age and now with fake news and social media, this has increased fivefold.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said that the government has failed to take up the issue. “Lynchings are rampant and are happening with impunity. I hope the government, Prime Minister and Home Minister will adopt it (Bill) or come up with a law of their own.”
Leaders said that lynchings happen not just in the name of cow, but against Dalits, Muslims, Africans and even Hindus.
A pledge to not remain mute spectators to lynching and not allow lynchings was also taken at the 100-people strong gathering.
Poonawalla said that the government is trying to make lynching a Hindu-Muslim issue and added that it goes beyond it.
“We condemn the lynching of Ayub Pandith as we do the lynching of Junaid or Pehlu Khan. Today it’s minorities, tomorrow it would be women for the clothes they wear or transgenders,” he said.
Poonawalla told IANS that if the government does not take up the Bill in the current session, then “10,000 people with their cattle and victims will go and stay at the PM’s residence”.
“Not at Jantar Mantar, but at the PM’s house as it’s the only safe place in the country,” he said.
CPI-M MP M.B. Rajesh told IANS that even though the situation is not as grave in Kerala as in other parts of the country, he’ll take up the issue with the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
DMK MP T.K.S Elangovan said that “states run by BJP are supporting mobs who violate laws and take law into their hands”.
“In Tamil Nadu there is no law against eating beef or cow, but even there people carrying bovines were attacked,” he said.
On being asked why there is need of a special law against lynching, former Union Minister Salman Khurshid said that it is needed when existing laws are not effective and in case of special circumstances and problems that pose.
“We have passed special laws in the past for protecting women, children, Dalits and Tribals,” he said.
Social activist Shehzad Poonawalla, Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh and RJD leader Manoj Jha were also present at the function.