Mumbai, April 23 (IANS) The Maharashtra Congress on Thursday demanded that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre should immediately enact a law against mob-lynching as directed by the Supreme Court in July 2018.

State Congress spokesperson and General Secretary Sachin Sawant said that way back in July 2018, the then Supreme Court Chief Justice Deepak Misra had given directions to the Centre in this regard to check such heinous crimes.

Besides, 11 guidelines were issued that were disregarded by the Centre and later in July 2019, the then Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi again sent a notice to the Centre on the status of framing such a law.

“However, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi did nothing in the matter so far. After the (April 16) Palghar lynching case, Union Home Minster Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath spoke with Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, but there was nothing about the law against mob lynching,” Sawant told a video press conference.

“Such mob lynchings have occurred in other states also, but no senior BJP leader displayed such concerns. On the contrary, the accused in some of those cases were felicitated by ministers and party leaders,” he pointed out.

Dismissing the Vishva Hindu Parishad’s (VHP) contentions, Sawant said that since the past 10 years, the Gadchinchale area of Palghar, where the unfortunate mob lynching of two ‘sadhus’ and their driver took place, has been a BJP bastion.

“The current village sarpanch is Chitra Chaudhary, the list of its local office-bearers was announced by the BJP Dahanu Mandal on its official Facebook profile. Two of the accused arrested in the mob lynching case are Ishwar Nikole and Bhau Sathe, and many others nabbed are also linked to the BJP,” Sawant contended.

Nikole was felicitated on the occasion of ex-CM Devendra Fadnavis government’s Surajya Parva programme against the backdrop of pictures of Modi, Shah, Fadnavis and then state party chief Raosaheb Patil-Danve.

“Despite all this, even a week after the sad incident took place in Palghar, why the BJP has not taken action against all its office-bearers and members for their involvement in this gruesome crime,” Sawant asked.

He said that the Congress wants the Centre to immediately take steps to enact the law against mob lynching and promptly take punitive action against its own party members for the Palghar case.

It may be recalled that on the night of April 16, a mob of over 150 villagers had brutally assaulted the two sadhus of Shri Panch Dashnam Juna-Akhara, Varanasi — Chikane Maharaj Kalpavrikshgiri (70) and Sushilgiri Maharaj (35) — and their driver, Nilesh Telgane (35), leading to their death.

Later, the Palghar Police arrested around 100 persons, including five masterminds, while state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh handed over the probe to the Crime Investigation Department (CID).

–IANS

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