NEW DELHI: Amid uproar in Parliament by Opposition parties over cases of mob lynching in the country, the Central government 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," Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir 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 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 on Tuesday had 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. A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also 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.
The SC had earlier dubbed the cases of lynching by vigilantes as a crime and not merely a law and order problem and had taken serious note of mob violence.