The Mamata Banerjee Government on Friday took the effective step to curb mob lynching by passing the Anti-lynching Bill. After this move, Bengal became the third State after Manipur and Rajasthan to pass the Anti-lynching Bill.
While both the Congress and the Left supported the Bill the BJP abstained alleging the new law would be used to settle scores.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who had continuously been critical of the BJP-ruled States and the Centre for not taking action against people accused of mob lynching said in the Assembly that her Government had to introduce the Act as the Centre had failed to discharging its duty by making a comprehensive law against lynching.
She said “the Central Government did not bring any law to prevent lynching whereas it should have taken the first initiative. It should have brought a law against lynching. As they failed to do so we are bringing this law in our State to curb mob assault of innocent people.”
Insisting that there was a need to raise public awareness against mob lynching she said the people should stand up against such crime. “This is a social evil and all of us have to come together to fight against this evil. Though the Supreme Court has given a directive to make appropriate laws no law has been framed as yet,” she said reminding “no one has any right to take other people’s lives.”
On a separate issue the Chief Minister attacked the Centre for targeting the Opposition leaders so as to finish the entire Opposition and set up a one-party rule in the country saying “today they are targeting the senior Opposition leaders like Chidambaram and Sharad Pawar who dared to question their policies, tomorrow they will do it to the entire Opposition parties.”
It was high time the Opposition parties united on an emergency basis in order to check the dictatorial attitude of the BJP Government she said.
When asked to comment on the BJP’s ambiguous stand on the anti-lynching laws when the Congress and the Left the two arch enemies of the Chief Minister backed the Bill, BJP leaders said they would not support the Bill as it would be used to target the innocent people and settle political scores.
The Bill stipulates a rigorous life imprisonment for life and a fine up to Rs 5 lakh for the accused in case the victim dies after public lynching.
In case of serious injuries in a mob lynching the accused will get a punishment of up to 10 years and a fine of Rs 3 lakh.