The Hush Post: Despite the brouhaha every time there was a lynching case in the country, the home ministry on Tuesday told the Parliament that only one case of lynching was registered in the country in one-and-a-half years between January 2016 and July 2017.
To a question by Shiv Sena MP Rajan Vichare, the minister of state for home affairs, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, responded, “No specific data is maintained by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) in this regard.”
As per data furnished by States and UTs, only one case was registered in 2017. This case has been registered in Rajasthan.
That ‘police’ and ‘public order’ were state subjects and it was primarily their duty to maintain law and order. “The state governments are competent to deal with such offences under the extant provisions of laws,” Ahir said.
According to media reports, IndiaSpend, a data journalism platform, recorded eight lynching deaths in 2016 alone in 24 hate crimes. Muslims accounted for 43 per cent of the victims, followed by Dalits at 34 per cent.
In 2017, the number of such incidents rose to 37 with 11 deaths, it reported. Muslims accounted for 61 per cent of the victims. In both years, most victims were males — 74 per cent in 2016 and 83 per cent in 2017.
In April 2017, Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer, was killed by ‘gau rakshaks’ on suspicion of smuggling cattle in Rajasthan.
A few months later, Zafar Islam, a 55-year-old CPI (ML) activist was killed in June.
More recently in November, Ummar Khan, a dairy farmer, was killed again in Alwar and his body was found on the railway tracks.