Anti-Lynching Law passed by India’s West Bengal Govt.

Kolkata — An Anti-lynching law was passed on Friday in the north-eastern Indian state of West Bengal by the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The law states that there will be life imprisonment and fines ranging from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 5 lakhs for the mob-lynchers.

Prevention of Lynching Bill 2019 defines that “lynching as any attempt or act of violence 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.”

The bill proposes that a maximum punishment of life imprisonment and fines ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh against the mob-lynchers and imprisonment of up to three years and fined a maximum Rs 1 lakh for assisting mob-lynchers.

Also the bill states one year jail and a fine up to Rs 50,000 for publishing, communicating or disseminating offensive material by any method – physical or electronic.  

The bill is passed by the state government with the support of the Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) parties, however Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) neither showed any support nor did it oppose. BJP felt such a move is to settle political scores, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.

“Lynching is a social evil and all of us have to come together to fight against it,” she said while formulating the bill in the Assembly.”

“The Supreme Court has given direction to take action against lynching. We need to raise awareness against the incident of lynchings,” she added.

According to a Reuters report, a total of 63 cow vigilante attacks had occurred inIndia between 2010 and mid 2017, mostly since the Modi government came to power in 2014, which has increased to a scaring rate between 2017 and 2019.