Registration of FIR on disseminating “explosive and irresponsible” content, information on the progress of the case, free medical treatment to victims and punishment for creating “hostile environment” for victims or witnesses are among the provisions in Jharkhand’s proposed anti-lynching law.
Once finalised, the Prevention of Mob Violence and Mob Lynching Bill, 2021, is set to be introduced in the winter session of the state legislature that begins on December 16. According to the draft bill, it is aimed at providing “effective protection” of constitutional rights and prevention of mob violence. If passed, Jharkhand will join West Bengal and Rajasthan in enforcing state anti-lynching laws. The issue came to focus in the state in 2019, when 24-year-old Tabrez Ansari was allegedly tied to a pole and beaten to death by a mob at Dhatkidih village in Seraikela Kharsawan district on suspicion of theft. Ansari was purportedly seen in a video being forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”.
Chief Minister Hemant Soren, in the run up to the 2019 assembly election in Jharkhand, had denounced the incidents of mob violence. Earlier this year, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-led government decided to form district-level committees to deal with such cases after a rebuke from the High Court.