New Delhi: Ripped open by the Opposition and schooled by the Supreme Court, the Centre on Monday set up a panel of four group of ministers and a committee of secretaries who will suggest laws against lynching and ways to put an end to incidents of mob violence that have sparked nationwide outrage.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will head the ministerial panel to Prime Minister Narendra Modi based on the recommendations of a high-level committee led by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba.
The four-member led by the Union Home Secretary will have - secretaries of justice, department of legal affairs, legislative department and social justice and empowerment. The committee will submit its recommendations to the government within four weeks.
The move comes amid growing incidents of lynching and mob violence across India. The latest one to provoke widespread outrage was in Rajasthan's Alwar where a 28-year-old man was lynched over suspicion of cattle smuggling. The incidents have also fuelled sharp attacks by the opposition on the government in parliament.
The Supreme Court last week had urged the government to enact laws separate to those against murder to act as a deterrent against lynchings, following a series of attacks in which mobs have beaten people to death.
"We think it appropriate to recommend ... to parliament to create a separate offence for lynching and provide adequate punishment for the same... A special law in this field would instil a sense of fear," the court said in its judgment.
The court was hearing a petition filed by an activist to stop violence by vigilante groups, who are against the slaughter of cows.
"The horrendous acts of 'mobocracy' cannot be permitted to inundate the law of the land," the judgment said....