High-level committees formed to check lynchings (Lead)
New Delhi : Facing widespread criticism, the Centre on Monday set up a high-level committee and a Group of Ministers headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh to check mob lynchings, close on the heels of an incident in Alwar in Rajasthan where a Muslim man was killed by suspected cow vigilantes.
In the officials committee to be headed by Home Secretary R.K. Gauba, the Secretaries of the Departments of Justice, Legal Affairs, Legislative and Social Justice and Empowerment will also be members.
"In order to formulate appropriate steps to address the (mob lynching) situation, the government has set up a high-level committee to deliberate and make recommendations within four weeks," a Home Ministry statement said.
The government also decided to constitute a Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Rajnath Singh to consider the committee's recommendations.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad and Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot are members of the GoM.
The GoM will submit their recommendations to the Prime Minister.
The government has come under attack over a spate of lynchings in states, especially of those belonging to the minority communities, by suspected cow protection vigilantes.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi referred to the Alwar killing as a "brutal new India" being prepared by the BJP-led NDA government. Leaders of various other parties have also condemned these killings and have blamed the central government for creating an "environment of fear and reprisal" against the minority community.
The Home Ministry had issued an advisory on July 4 urging the states and union territories to take steps to prevent mob violence and lynchings as well as take stringent action as per the law against the culprits.
The states have been advised to implement the Supreme Court directions issued on July 17, said the statement.
An advisory was issued on August 9, 2016 on the disturbances created by miscreants in the name of cow protection, the Home Ministry added.