The Centre has taken serious note of the recent incidents of lynching in the country and has asked States to crack the whip against the culprits and also asked social media service providers to install checks to stop spread of rumours and fake news.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh made the statement in Lok Sabha on Thursday during Zero Hour while responding to Congress leader KC Venugopal, who raised the issue of lynching.
Singh said several people were killed during recent lynching incidents and it was a matter of “grave concern” for the Government and the Centre could no longer remain a “mute spectator” on the issue.
A Times of India report quoted the Home Minister as saying, “Lynching happened because of rumours and unverified or fake news. I have issued advisories to the State Governments in 2016 and 2018. We have asked social media service providers to install check. Such incidents are unfortunate. We have asked the Chief Ministers to take firm action against the culprits.”
It may be recalled that at Panjuri village in Karbi Anglong (in Assam), two youths were pulled out of their car on June 8 last and beaten to death by a frenzied mob on the suspicion that they are child-lifters.
Both the friends (Nilotpal Das and Abhijit Nath) – while heading deep into the jungle towards Kanthilangso – did not even have the faintest of idea that strong rumour was doing the rounds in the area through social media that child lifters were on the prowl.
The duo was mistaken to be sopadhoras (child lifters) for Nilotpal’s dreadlocks, according to police, and was beaten to death by a 250-strong mob. By the time the police arrived and took them to the hospital, it was too late and they were declared dead.
In Tripura too, a series of lynching incidents have shook the State Government. On June 28 last, a man who was hired by the Tripura Information and Culture Department to spread awareness against rumour-mongering was lynched by a mob at Kalachhara in South Tripura district. On the very same day, a hawker from Uttar Pradesh and an unidentified woman were beaten to death on suspicion of being child-lifters in West Tripura.