NEWS
28/08/2019 9:56 AM IST

Mamata Govt In Bengal To Introduce Bill Against Mob Lynching And BJP Isn't Happy

BJP's Dilip Ghosh claimed this was a ploy by the Trinamool Congress to "settle scores" with the BJP in the state.

Rupak De Chowdhuri / Reuters
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in a file photo. 

The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) government in West Bengal is likely to introduce a bill in the Legislative Assembly against mob lynching in the state, say reports.

The BJP in West Bengal seems to be all riled up by the news. 

The Times of India reported that the “stringent” The West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2019 will be tabled in the assembly on Friday.  

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PTI reported a senior TMC minister as saying that according to the proposed legislation, if anyone is found guilty of publishing, communicating and disseminating any offensive material either physically or electroncally, shall be liable to imprisonment upto one year and fine upto Rs 50,000.

The PTI report quoted the minister as saying, “The bill aims to protect the constitutional rights of vulnerable persons and prevent incidents of lynching. It also proposes action against those involved in perpetrating the crime,” a senior TMC minister said.

“Whoever contributes or enforces a hostile environment on a person or a group of persons shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend upto three years,” the senior TMC minister said.

The legislation will pitch for a jail term varying between three years to life, for those involved in assaulting and injuring a victim of mob violence. Perpetrator of incidents where the victim dies, the legislation suggests rigorous life imprisonment and fine up to Rs 5 lakh.

“As per the bill, the state director general of police will appoint a coordinator, who will act as a nodal officer to monitor and take measures to prevent incidents of lynching,” the minister added.

As per the objects and reasons of the bill, the Constitution of India guarantees to all persons the right to life and personal liberty and equal protection of law, in recent times, there have been trends towards mob lynching in different parts of the country.

“The Supreme court has recommended for enacting legislation in this regard. Therefore it is proposed to nip the evil in the bud and to prevent spreading of hatred or incitement to mob lynching by creating special offences against such mob lynching,” the bill states.

It seems they are very much bothered about incidents of lynchings. But what about political murders of BJP leaders and workers at the hands of TMC goons.Dilip Ghosh

However, the Opposition BJP in the state seemed bothered by the bill and claimed that it was ploy by the TMC government to settle political scores with the BJP workers and leaders.

BJP president Dilip Ghosh told PTI, “It seems they are very much bothered about incidents of lynchings. But what about political murders of BJP leaders and workers at the hands of TMC goons. Why aren’t they bringing any law to stop such political killings in Bengal.”

The Congress party in West Bengal welcomed the move, but cautioned the government against misusing it.

“It is indeed a welcome step. But the state government should ensure that is not misused,” Congress chief whip Manoj Chakraborty said.

TMC secretary general and state parliamentary affairs minister, Partha Chatterjee, reacting to BJP’s allegations, said the saffron party had been trying to vitiate the atmosphere of the state and there have been incidents of lynchings over allegations of being child lifter.

“If BJP has done no wrong they why are they so bothered about the bill. The BJP has been trying to vitiate the atmosphere of the state and there have been incidents of lynchings over allegations of being child lifter,” Chatterjee said.

(With PTI inputs)