No reliable data to define mob-lynching as a separate category of crime: Govt

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Updated: December 7, 2019 1:10:44 PM

The government said that the NCRB publishes crime data under various crime heads which are clearly defined under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), special and local laws.

ncrb data, mob lynchingThe Opposition has used cases of mob lynchings to target the Modi government. (File Photo/PTI)

National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) has refused to define mob-lynching as a separate category of crime due to lack of reliable data and potential for misinterpretation of definition. The nodal body to maintain the national register of crime had for the first time collected the data on crimes on some new parameters, including mob-lynching, in 2017. These new parameters included mob-lynching, Khap panchayat and murders by influential people, however, the NCRB shelved the plan to define mob-lynching as a separate category of crime. However, the government formed a group of ministers to suggest ways and legal changes to deal with the cases of mob-lynchings and it is seized of the matter, said Nityanand Rai, minister of state for home affairs, in the Rajya Sabha.

The government said that the NCRB publishes crime data under various crime heads which are clearly defined under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), special and local laws.

For the first time, the NCRB collected data about crimes on some new parameters for the year 2017 which also included the cases of mob-lynchings.

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It was important for the government to collect the data about the cases of mob-lynchings, hate crimes and the cases related to cow-vigilantism as a large number of such incidents were reported from several parts of the country.

The murder of Mohammad Akhlak by a mob in Dadri district of Uttar Pradesh in 2015 on suspicion of storing beef was first high profile case during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first tenure that was highlighted by the national and international press. The incident was followed by similar cases in other parts of the country like the killing of Pehlu Khan by a mob in Rajasthan two years later and similar cases in Jharkhand and other states.

The opposition parties used these incidents to target Prime Minister Modi’s government accusing it of stoking the feeling of majoritarianism and intolerance in the country.

These incidents prompted the NCRB to collect data about such cases under a separate category of crimes. However, the agency finally decided not to classify them under a separate category of crime but it was later shelved.

“It was observed that data was unreliable and their definitions were prone to misinterpretation. Therefore, NCRB did not consider it appropriate to publish such unreliable data separately,” Nityanand Rai told the Rajya Sabha.

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