Civil leaders launch national campaign against mob lynching
New Delhi, June 6: Eminent faces from the Delhi civil society on Monday launched a national campaign against the growing culture of mob lynching. They expressed deep concern on the silence of the people in power over the lynching incidents.
Those present on the occasion included veteran journalist and former diplomat Kuldeep Nayar, eminent academicians Prof. Apoorvanand Jha, Prof. Manoj Jha and Anil Chamadiya, political activist Tehseen Poonawalla, students leaders Kanhaiya Kumar, Shehla Rashid and Richa Sharma, Supreme Court lawyer Sanjay R. Hegde and social activists Jignesh Mevani and Wasiq Nadeem.
They announced to launch the campaign at a press conference at the Constitution Club of India here on Monday.
"The agenda of the press conference was to put out an action plan to compel the Government and the Prime Minister to respond to this crisis and act to uphold the rule of law and the Constitution," said the organizers.
"Mob-lynching has become the order of the day, and interest groups that enjoy the patronage of the government are letting loose their terror on innocent people in the country, they said.
Social activist Wasiq Nadeem speaking at the launch of national campaign against mob lynching
Entrepreneur and activist, Tehseen Poonawalla, on whose petition the Supreme Court recently issued a notice to the Central Govt regarding ban on vigilante groups, said, "The need of our times is a specific law to deal with vigilantism. The government must promulgate an ordinance ASAP and make lynching a non-bailable offence with punishment up to life imprisonment. In addition the local police officer, in whose jurisdiction lynchings take place, must be suspended immediately and a judicial inquiry must be initiated against the officer. If the government fails to enact a law in the stipulated period, lakhs of farmers, cattle grazers and dairy farmers will leave their cattle at the PM's residence."
Student leader Shehla Rashid said that, "the way lynch mobs have taken over the country signals a total breakdown of law and order situation, and this calls for urgent response on part of the central government. It is the government's responsibility to ensure that law and order is upheld."
She added, "This is not a communal issue and it does not affect Muslims alone. Lynch mobs killed dairy farmers in Jewar and Alwar. An auto rickshaw driver who stopped people from urinating publicly was lynched in cold blood. Why are lynch mobs becoming normalised?"
Activist and student leader Kanhaiya Kumar said, "We are not here to protest. We are here to help the government to curb the mob-lynching environment that is poisoning our country. If the govt is sincere in fighting this utter breakdown of rule-of-law, it must agree to our demand of enacting a special legislation to curb mob-lynching. We, as young citizens of India have come together to fulfill our duty of upholding the rule-of-law and Constitution."
Jignesh Mevani, leader of Una Dalit uprising said: "If the govt doesn't come up with a law against Mob-lynching by 11th July which is the anniversary of the Una movement, we will start a nationwide movement from Una."
Jignesh Mevani added, "The life of human considered less than that of a cow. The shocking flogging of Una victims, brutal murder of Pehlu khan, the devastating account of Latehar where citizens of this country were killed and hanged by a tree, the case of gang rape over suspicion of beef- these are more than a wake-up call to demand a special law to deal with the phenomenon of mob-lynching."
Missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed's sister Sadaf Musharraf was also present on the occasion.
Najeeb, 27, a first year M.Sc. (Biotechnology) student, went missing from his JNU hostel - Mahi Mandavi room number 106 on October 15 last year, day after an alleged scuffle with members of RSS' student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
In the last two years, around one dozen people have been killed in mob lynching in different parts of the country.