[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n last two weeks, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has slapped the Yogi Adityanath-headed Government of Uttar Pradesh with five notices on issues ranging from mob violence, burning of a woman, alleged fake encounter of a youth and death of labourers in the state. Now, the latest incident joining the fray and inviting the NHRC’s ire is the case of mob lynching of a police official in line of duty in district Bulandshahr.
NHRC has put the UP government on notice over brutal murder of two persons including the police officer, late Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, by a violent mob of cow vigilantes, allegedly led by Bajrang Dal’s Yogesh Raj, in broad daylight. NHRC has asked the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh to file before it a detailed report in the matter within four weeks including action taken against the miscreants and relief and rehabilitation provided to the families of the deceased persons.
NHRC observed that “the reported incident is indicative of yet another incident of violent protest and rampaging by the unruly mob exposing lawlessness and failure of the administration to tackle the sensitive issues and situations. The contents of the media reports, suggest that even the police officers do not appear to be safe and can be easily eliminated at free will of the uncontrolled lawless elements. Right to Life of the deceased persons in the instant incident have been grossly violated, which is a matter of concern for the Commission. The safety of the public property and lives of its citizens is the prime duty of the state and the Commission expects effective and prompt action from the state authorities in such situations so that a strong message could be given to the violators of the law”.
Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, before he was shot dead, reportedlytried to control mob violence in the village after carcasses of 25 cows were found in forests close to a police post. Bulandshahr Police have registered an FIR against a total of 27 people for 17 charges, such as murder, assaulting public officers, rioting etc.
A day before the incident of lynching in Bulandshahr, NHRC had issued notice to Yogi government in another case wherein a woman, victim of molestation, was set ablaze by her tormentors, when she was going to lodge a written complaint with the police station about them as suggested by the Police Control Room Van personnel in District Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh on the December 1, 2018.
On November 30, 2018, NHRC took suo motu cognizance of media reports that a 28-year-old man, Rajendra alias Manu, was pulled out of a police van and beaten to death by a mob in the presence of constables in Hathchoya Villagein district Shamli, Uttar Pradesh on the November 26, 2018.
On November 29, 2018, NHRC took suo motu cognizance of a media report that a 20-year-old youth, Irshad Ahmad of Muzaffarnagar district was shot dead in an alleged fake encounter by the Uttar Pradesh Police early Tuesday, November 27, 2018. Reportedly, his father has said that his son had no criminal history and was killed in cold blood in a fake encounter.
On November 28, 2018, NHRC took suo motu cognizance of media reports that an iron net of an under construction bridge of Public Works Department, PWD fell down leading to death of two workers on the spot and injuries to another in City Kotwali area of Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh. The police and administrative officers found the contractor responsible for negligence and had ordered an independent enquiry.
Supreme Court of India on the a PIL filed by Tehseen Poonawala and Tushar Gandhi, had passed an elaborate judgment on July 17, 2018 issuing several directions to both the states and central government to take action against incidents of mob lynching. Supreme Court had also made a recommendation to the Parliament to create a separate offence for lynching and provide adequate punishment for the same. Accordingly, Government of India had constituted a committee on July 23, 2018, chaired by the Union Home Secretary to deliberate in the matter and make recommendations. The Secretary, Department of Justice, Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs, Secretary, Legislative Department and Secretary, Social Justice and Empowerment were the members of the committee. The committee was to submit its recommendations to the government within four weeks.
Lynchings continue to take their toll. This time of a Police Officer in line of duty. The report of the Committe constituted by MHA on 23- 7- 2018 to suggest appropriate laws to handle such crimes, yet to see light of the day. The endless wait and mindless lynchings! pic.twitter.com/oxKIQfE02p