Landmark step: Anti-mob lynching bill passed in Jharkhand assembly

Ranchi: In a landmark step against instances of mob lynching and attacks, which over the years have seen a spurt in the state, Jharkhand assembly on Tuesday passed anti-lynching law prescribing hefty fines and punishments ranging up to live imprisonment for those found guilty of this crime. State rural development minister Alamgir Alam tabled the bill during the state assembly’s winter session in the afternoon which was passed without any debate.

Jharkhand is now the third state after West Bengal and Rajasthan to have put in place a law against mob-lynching. Titled as Jharkhand (Prevention of Violence and Mob Lynching) Bill of 2021, it provides life imprisonment to guilty in case of lynching deaths with a penalty of Rs 5 lakh and up to Rs 25 lakh. In case of minor injuries, there will be three year jail term to guilty, a fine of Rs 3 lakh while state will bear the cost of treatment. Similarly for grievous injuries, the guilty will be imprisoned for life imprisonment or up to 10 years along with a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh. Those aiding and attempting in lynching incidents will also be considered as guilty of lynching with jail term for three years, fine provision of up to Rs 3 lakh.

This apart, the yet-to-be-enacted law also has it that IGP rank official will act as Nodal Officer to monitor and prevent lynching through different interventions and coordination with local police. Respective thanas and districts too are made accountable to identify vulnerable areas, and take preventive steps.

In recent years, over 50 cases of mob lynching occurred due on various grounds of which about 33 have died, minister Alamgir said in the assembly while tabling the bill. After the passage of the bill, chief minister Hemant Soren said that the new law is to maintain peaceful environment for all.

Meanwhile, Opposition BJP had demanded the bill to be sent to select committee after its tabling in the house but speaker Rabindranath Mahto didn’t acknowledge the demands. After the passage of the bills, different minority outfits met with leaders of Congress and JMM separately hailing the developments.