Rajnath condemns lynchings, says states have been asked to take firm action

Rajnath Singh. Picture by Prem Singh

New Delhi, July 19 (PTI): The Centre on Thursday condemned the recent incidents of mob lynching and said it has advised the states to take stringent action against the culprits and asked social media service providers to install checks to stop spread of rumours and fake news.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh condemned the incidents and made a statement in the Lok Sabha during the Zero Hour while responding to Congress leader K.C. Venugopal, who raised the issue of lynchings, last week's attack on Swami Agnivesh in Jharkhand and trolling of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Rajnath said several people have been lynched, and that it was a matter of grave concern for the government.

He said that the lynchings happened because of rumours and unverified or fake news.

Observing that law and order was a state subject, Rajnath said the Centre cannot remain silent on the issue.

"I have issued advisories to state government in 2016 and 2018. We have asked social media service providers to install check. Such incidents are unfortunate. We have asked the Chief Ministers to take firm action against the culprits," Singh said.

Raising the issue, Venugopal regretted that while lynchings and physical attacks on people, including those with dissenting views, have become the order of the day and the government was maintaining a silence.

"Is this the rule of the law? These are very serious issues. I request the government to secure the democratic environment of the country," he said.

He also alleged that that the government was using investigating agencies to "target people".

"I urge upon the government to make a law to prevent mob lynching," he said advising ministers not to garland convicts.

Noisy scenes were witnessed during the discussion on the subject with some Bharatiya Janata Party members protesting Venugopal's speech, as Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and Jyotiraditya Scindia were seen vociferously asking the Chair to allow the Congress MP to complete his submission, saying it was a serious matter concerning the nation.


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