This state with higher no of lynchings set to amend law to give relief to victims of Mob violence

Mumbai: Ever since mob lynching, sort-of-trend have started in India by cow vigilantes after the first lynching case in Dadri where a Muslim man named Mohammed Akhlaq was lynched over rumours of keeping beef in his home, after 3 years the SC has now laid guidelines to curb mob lynching.

Maharashtra state appears to be the first one in the nation to amend the provisions of its Victim Compensation Scheme 2014 to provide compensation to relatives of the deceased lynched in mob violence.

The Maharashtra State Home Department on Thursday issued a circular in accordance with the Maharashtra government as per SC’s directives.

According to the guidelines, all district SPs and city police chiefs have been appointed as nodal officers and deputy SPs as deputy nodal officers. The department has asked them to set up a task force to take measures to prevent mob violence and lynching.

This task force will be responsible to gather intelligence reports on people likely to commit such crimes or involved in spreading hate speeches, provocative statements and fake news, the guidelines stated.

Maharashtra alone has witnessed 9 deaths and 14 cases of lynchings, including the killing of five nomads at Dhule in July on rumours of being child lifters.

Speaking about this particular amendment, a home department official said: “While the scheme makes a mention of compensating the kin of the deceased or those left disabled, it doesn’t make an explicit mention of those killed or left disabled due to mob attacks. We have proposed that the scheme be amended in accordance with the guidelines issued by the SC… the amended provisions should clearly state that the victims of mob violence would be entitled to compensation under the said scheme.”

“The proposal has been sent to the law and judiciary department for a final ratification and the notification on the amended provisions should be issued within a week,” the official added.

According to the sources, the compensation could be around 2 lakhs in case of death and 1 lakh in case of partial disability as per the 2014 scheme.

“There won’t be any revision as far as the compensation amounts are concerned. The amended provisions will make it explicitly clear of the compensation to be awarded to the victims,” the official said.

Principal Secretary (Special), home department, Amitabh Gupta, when contacted, said: “We have initiated the process and soon, the scheme would be amended as per the directives of the Supreme Court.”

The guidelines further direct the SHO’s to immediately intimate the nodal officer in the district who shall, in turn, ensure that there is no further harassment of the family members of the victim(s). The investigation in such offences shall be personally monitored by the nodal officer added the guidelines.

“While the SC guidelines were passed while dealing with a batch of petitions filed by Congress activist Tehseen Poonawala and others seeking directions to combat the menace of self-appointed vigilante squads lynching people in the name of cow protection, the state has witnessed 14 cases of mob violence and nine deaths. Therefore, the guidelines have been framed and the SPs and city police chiefs have been asked to adhere to the same,” said another official.