Manipur Assembly Passes Anti-Mob Violence Bill, Accused To Pay Fine Up to Rs 5 Lakh
Manipur has become the first state to take a serious step against increasing incidents of mob violence. Manipur Assembly passed ‘The Manipur Protection from Mob Violence Bill, 2018’ on December 21, reported The Caravan Daily.
Life imprisonment for mob lynching
The bill moved by Chief Minister N Biren Singh, who also holds charge of the Home Department, recommends rigorous life imprisonment for those involved in mob violence if it results in the death of a victim. And in addition to life imprisonment, the law also recommends a fine of Rs 5 lakh for those involved in mob lynching. Perpetrators may also face public humiliation through exclusion from public services and might be forced to leave his/her home without consent.
The bill was introduced in the Assembly to curb increasing incidents of mob violence in the state. In September this year, a 26-year old man was killed by a mob at Tharoijamn in Thoubal district for allegedly trying to steal a scooter, reported The Wire. Five persons were arrested in the case including a member of the India Reserve Battalion and four police officers present at the spot were suspended.
In July this year, Supreme Court condemned incidents of mob violence and lynching across the country and urged parliament to enact a law to deal with such incidents which threaten rule of law and the country’s social fabric. The court also issued a slew of directions to state governments, including preventive, remedial and punitive steps to deal with the crime.
Incidents of mob violence often occur over issues such as suspicion of cow theft or killing, smuggling, and child lifting. And in the majority of the cases, victims belong to marginalized sections of society- poor Muslims, Dalits, and tribals.
Manipur Government has taken a commendable step to protect these people from the wrath of the gullible and violent mob, which often acts on rumours received from social media and acts with impunity. But now it is expected that other states will follow Manipur’s lead and bring the unruly mob to justice.