NEW DELHI: Amid cases of mob lynching in the country, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said that while it is the responsibility of the state governments to maintain law and order in the wake of such incidents, the Central government cannot keep sitting on them.
"This is a state matter but still the Central government cannot keep sitting on it. If any of such incidents are reported I speak to the CM immediately and ask them to take strong actions against the culprits," he said while addressing the Lok Sabha.
He also blamed fake news and social media for such incidents. "The way fake news is disseminated through social media it is one of the main reasons behind such cases. We have asked social media service providers to install checks in their system to keep a check on fake news," he said adding that such incidents are very shameful.
Soon after, the Congress staged a walkout from the Lok Sabha protesting against the Home Minister's statement.
Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir had on Wednesday said that it is the responsibility of the state governments to maintain law and order. "Responsibility to maintain law and order and protect life and property rests with State Governments. The State Governments are competent to deal with such offences under the exanct provisions of law. MHA issues advisory to States from time to time," the MoS said. He also said that the Centre does not maintain data with respect to lynching incidents in the country.
The Opposition on Wednesday moved a no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi led government. Attacking the Centre, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had said: "Government has to be very careful in its utterances. For the last few days, an atmosphere is being created across the country of dividing the nation. That is not in the interest of the country. There is a huge nexus between the ruling party and all those who are doing nasty things like lynchings all over the country."
The Supreme Court has already asked Parliament to consider enacting a new law to effectively deal with incidents of mob lynching, saying "horrendous acts of mobocracy" cannot be allowed to become a new norm. It passed a slew of directions to provide "preventive, remedial and punitive measures" to deal with offences like mob violence and cow vigilantism.
The SC had also said that it was the duty of state governments to ensue law and order in society, besides ensuring that the rule of law prevailed. "Citizens cannot take law into their hands and cannot become law unto themselves. Horrendous acts of mobocracy cannot be allowed to become a new norm and has to be curbed with iron hands," the bench said.