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  • 07 March, 2023

  • 7 Min Read

Mob lynching and Cow Vigilantism

Mob lynching and Cow Vigilantism

  • The recent lynching and burning of two men in Haryana on the basis of allegations of unlawful cow slaughter, smuggling, or transportation bring attention to the problem of mob lynching.

About cow vigilantism:

  • Mob attacks carried out in the guise of "cow protection" primarily target Muslims, Dalits, and tribals.
  • Cases of alleged cow vigilantism
  • Rajasthan - A group of accused cow vigilantes killed a dairy farmer from Haryana by beating him to death.
  • A 15-year-old Muslim boy from Haryana was stabbed in a train, allegedly for eating beef.
  • A Dalit family in Gujarat was publicly flogged by cow vigilantes for skinning a dead cow.
  • After being attacked by claimed cow vigilantes for transporting two animals, a Muslim man died.

Influence on society:

  • By giving the so-called cow defenders social, moral, and legal authority, it is encouraging violence in the nation.
  • By focusing on specific communities in the nation, it undermines the secular inclusiveness of Indian society.
  • Economic impact: Beef producers, tanners, and leather producers have all suffered greatly.
  • stigmatisation of groups including Dalits, Muslims, and tribal people because of their dietary practises and reliance on cattle products for a living.

Supreme Court stand:

  • Articles 48, 48A, and 51(A) of the Constitution, which aim to preserve breeds used in agriculture and animal husbandry and expressly forbid the slaughter of cows and calves as well as other milch and draught cattle, as well as promoting compassion for animals, were cited by the Supreme Court in 2005 to justify the total ban on cattle slaughter.
  • The Supreme Court has recently expressed worry over the attacks on innocent people committed in the name of cow vigilantism and has given some directives in this regard.
  • In order to take action against these organisations, it directed the States and the Union Territories to designate nodal police officers in each district.
  • States have also been urged to submit updates on their efforts to curb vigilantism.
  • The court urged the Center to carry out its constitutional duties under Cooperative Federalism Article 256 and instruct the States to take action against the groups.
  • The Chief Secretaries and Directors General of Police were also ordered by the court to take action to defend the highways from vigilante mobs.

What is mob lynching?

  • Mob lynching is when a group of people engage in illegal behaviour by turning violent and killing a person they believe to be a criminal without conducting a fair trial.
  • Muslims, dalits, and other minorities have typically been lynched by mobs.
  • The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) gathered information on mob lynchings, hate crimes, and cow vigilantism in 2017, however the information was not published and the NCRB stopped collecting it because these crimes are not defined and the information was deemed untrustworthy.
  • The memory of the 2017 murder of a dairy farmer, Pehlu Khan, and his sons in Rajasthan by so-called cow vigilantes is still vivid.

What problems do mob lynchings cause?

  • Mob lynching is a flagrant breach of the International Declaration of Human Rights, Article 21 of the Constitution, and human dignity.
  • Such actions contravene Articles 14 and 15 of the Indian Constitution, which guarantee equality and prohibit discrimination.
  • But because it is not specifically defined in the law and is not yet included in the Indian Criminal Code, it is simply referred to as murder.

What are the Causes of Mob Lynching?

  • Prejudice: Mob lynching is a hate crime that is on the rise as a result of prejudices or biases held by different castes, classes, and faiths.
  • Cows are venerated and worshipped in Hinduism, hence the rise of the cow vigilante. Sometimes this results in cow vigilantism.
  • Under the assumption that the minorities often consume beef meat, the majority commits this crime against the minority.
  • A lack of prompt justice.
  • The main cause of people enforcing the law without concern for the repercussions is the ineffective operation of the institutions responsible for administering justice.

What actions is the government taking on this matter?

Preventative actions:
  • The Supreme Court established a number of preventive, corrective, and punitive procedures to deal with lynching and mob violence in the case of Tahseen s. Poonawala v. UOI in July 2017.
  • In this case, the Supreme Court used the phrase "horrendous act of mobocracy" to describe mob lynching.
  • Designated Fast Track Courts: States were instructed to establish specific mob lynching cases-only designated fast track courts in each district.
  • The court had also proposed the formation of a special task force with the aim of obtaining intelligence reports regarding those responsible for disseminating hate speech, provocative statements, and false information that could result in mob lynchings.
  • A high-level committee led by the Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba was established by the government.
  • In accordance with the Supreme Court's guidelines, the central government established a panel to submit its report to the Prime Minister.
  • Laws prohibiting lynching had been passed by four States (Rajasthan, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Manipur), however their enforcement varied.
  • Additional measures include limiting WhatsApp forwarding messages to only five chats in an effort to discourage false rumours from spreading quickly and easily.
  • Indian civilization is a synthesis of various religions, ethnicities, cultures, and moralities. It's crucial to maintain the correct balance in this complex society. To prevent violence in the name of cows, our community, government, and civil society organisations must cooperate.

Source: The Hindu

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