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Jharkhand assembly set to consider anti-lynching bill

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Ranchi: Jharkhand Assembly is likely to introduce an anti-lynching bill in its upcoming session, with provisions of capital punishment for those lynching individuals, imprisonment for injuring a person, and stiff penalties for being part of a lynching mob.

The bill named The Jharkhand (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2021 is likely to be tabled in the session scheduled from December 16 to 22, an official was quoted by PTI as saying.

West Bengal and Rajasthan are two states where comparable legislation has been passed.

Jharkhand has seen cases of mob lynching including one in 2019 in which 24-year old Tabrez Ansari, was allegedly tied to a pole and beaten with sticks by a mob at Dhatkidih village in Seraikela Kharsawan district on suspicion of theft. The incident had hit headlines across the country and was echoed in Parliament too.

Ansari was purportedly seen in a video being forced to chant "Jai Shri Ram" and "Jai Hanuman" and had later succumbed to his injuries.

The bill is learned to provide for punishment "with death sentence or rigorous imprisonment for life and with fine which shall not be less than ten lakh rupees" in case of death of the victim, the official said.

In case of causing hurt to the victim, the bill prescribes imprisonment upto three years and fine notless than Rs one lakh and upto Rs 3 lakh.

"Where the act leads to the victim suffering grievous hurt, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and with fine which shall not be less than three lakh rupees and may extend up to five lakh rupees," PTI quotes the bill as providing.

A state co-ordinator, not below the rank of Inspector General of Police will also act as Nodal Officer to oversee the prevention of lynching. He will also be responsible for identifying tendencies of vigilantism and prevent transmission of offensive material through social media.

District magistrates also will be required to play a role in prevention of hostile atmosphere again persons or groups.

Lynching under the proposed bill has been defined as "any act or series of acts of violence or aiding, abetting or attempting an act of violence, whether spontaneous or planned, by a mob on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary practices, sexual orientation, political affiliation, ethnicity or any other ground."

In the wake of the 2019 incident in Jharkhand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in Parliament that the incident of lynching in Jharkhand had pained him and the guilty must be severely punished. and had stressed that all kinds of violence in the country, should be treated in the same manner and law should take its course.

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TAGS:Anti-lynching bill Jharkhand Tabrez Ansari in 2019 Punishment based on crime severity 
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