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Alwar Lynching: Supreme Court to consider Contempt Petition against Rajasthan govt

Monday July 23, 2018 11:32 PM, News Network

Akbar Khan Lynching

New Delhi: Senior Advocate Indira Jaising on Monday moved a contempt petition before the Supreme Court of India alleging Rajasthan government’s non-compliance of directions by the apex court to curb mob lynching.

The petition was mentioned today before Chief Justice Dipak Misra for an urgent listing. “The contempt will be taken up with the main matter,” the Chief Justice said according to Live Law. The contempt plea is scheduled now for August 20.

The contempt plea followed the lynching of a Haryana resident Akbar Khan by a mob in Alwar, Rajasthan. Subsequent reports suggest that the police after picking up a wounded Khan, took over three hours to reach him to hospital, with eyewitnesses claiming that they had seen the cops beating the 28-year-old youth. He was declared brought dead by the hospital.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi took up the issue as well tweeting, "Policemen in Alwar took 3 hrs to get a dying Akbar Khan, the victim of a lynch mob, to a hospital just 6 KM away. Why? They took a tea-break enroute. This is Modi's brutal "New India" where humanity is replaced with hatred and people are crushed and left to die.”

The Supreme Court of India had on July 17 issued several guidelines to both the state and central governments to curb cow vigilantism and mob lynching. August 20 is the date fixed by the SC to report compliance on these guidelines. And as per the Chief Justice observations, the contempt plea will also be taken up on this date.

The apex court had also recommended that Parliament enact a special law against the run of lynch mobs, decrying mobocracy, and restoring the fear and command of law. The Court had made it clear that lynchings needed to be acted against strongly “lest it would lead to rise of anarchy and lawlessness which would plague and corrode the nation like an epidemic.”

It had also referred to earlier rulings by American courts that had dealt with the menace of lynching with an iron hand. In the past weeks the number of lynchings have spiralled, with innocent persons being brutally beaten to death by mobs mobilised on rumours of not just cow smuggling and beef, but also child adduction, and before that braid choppers, according to The Citizen Bureau.

There is concern about the government’s inability to control these rumours, and the mobs that lynch at will. More so when senior ministers of even the centre like Jayant Sinha are seen garlanding and feeding sweets to the accused in such cases. Senior BJP leaders have justified such lynching in different ways, by either holding processions or visiting riot accused in jails.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje who has sanctioned several Gauraksha police stations across her state, including Alwar, has condemned this particular lynching ostensibly because of the SC ruling. However, as reported by NDTV, not just the mob but the state police is responsible for Akbar Khan’s death, as he was alive albeit in great pain, after the attack. The police first got shelter arranged for the cattle, had tea, and then finally took him to the hospital where he was declared dead. Eyewitnesses have told the reporters that they saw the police abusing and beating the injured man.

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