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Centre declines Oppn's 'MASUKA'

Centre declines Oppns MASUKA
While the new draft law to deal with mob lynching, the Manav Suraksha Kanoon (MASUKA), produced by the National Campaign Against Mob Lynching, has received support from a group of politicians who represent the Congress, the CPI (M), the Aam Aadmi Party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Janata Dal (United), the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Nationalist Congress Party, the government is not considering enacting a separate law to tackle mob lynching incidents or amending the Indian Penal Code (IPC) or Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) for this purpose, minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir made it clear on Wednesday in the Upper House. The Campaign members and the parliamentarians – who had extended support to this draft law – said that they would first ask the government to bring the draft law to the Parliament and start a discussion on the need for such legislation, failing which MASUKA would be brought in as a Private Member's Bill in the Parliament. The draft of MASUKA, aimed to address the menace of mob lynching, was unveiled recently and is being proposed as a response to a spate of lynching incidents that have rattled the nation over the last few months.
The proposed law aims to provide effective protection to vulnerable persons, punish acts of lynching, and provide rehabilitation and compensation for victims and their families. According to the draft, lynching is defined as 'Any act or series of acts of violence, whether spontaneous or planned, committed to inflict extra judicial punishment, or as an act of protest and caused by the desire of a mob to enforce upon a person or group of persons any perceived legal, societal and cultural norms/ prejudices.' Replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha during Question Hour, Ahir said that whether lynching is done by a single person or by several persons, the existing laws can deal with it. "The state governments can take action against person or persons involved in such incidents under existing laws. I don't think there is a need for a separate law," he said.
The minister was responding to a supplementary question by Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, who asked if the central government was planning to modify the CrPC and IPC to deal with mob lynching in the name of cow protection which he said was 'emerging as a trend now.' The minister further claimed the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) does not maintain a separate data of killings in the name of cow protection. Stressing that law and order was a state subject; Ahir added that the Centre had issued advisories to states asking them for immediate registration of FIRs and arrest of the accused in such crimes. "Paying heed to our advisory, states are taking action," the minister said. He also said PM Modi had spoken against such killings in the name of cow protection and this will not be tolerated.
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