The Supreme Court on July 17 directed the centre and all state governments to legislate a law to curb the Gau Rakshaks and mob lynching. The three judge bench consisting of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud dealing with a writ petition filed by Tahseen S Poonawala said vigilantism could not be allowed in a civilized society and it should be suppressed with an iron hand. The bench asked Parliament and state assemblies to frame a law to deal with the perverted practice. It is a fact that lynching prevailed in the country since the NDA government under the Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power. Previously even in communal riots, the innocent persons were killed, stabbed to death and burnt alive but a lynching was the rarest feature. Emboldened Gau Rakshaks under the strong feeling of patronage started killing innocent persons belonging to the Muslim community on the pretext that they slaughtered a cow or had beef with them. After scores of bloody instances, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi unconvincingly asked the state governments to curb the murderous free run of the Gau Rakshaks.
Then the Supreme Court also issued fiat to state governments to take every step to prevent cow vigilantes from lynching people on this or that pretext. The Supreme Court issued instructions also to appoint nodal officers to monitor the situation. However, few state governments heeded the guidelines and showed any will to curb the barbarism of the cow vigilantes. These activities which were not hindered by the law and order machinery in right earnest showed the way to the people that they can declare anyone guilty and punish them. There was an easy way for dotting parents and others to turn wrathful and kill the innocent people on the suspicion that they were child lifters at their wish and will. When they observed the Gau Rakshaks doing their job, sometimes in the presence of the law and order machinery, then where is the fear from law?
Now the Supreme Court intervened again to issue instructions to curb the mob frenzy that resulted in more than two dozen incidents in which apprehensive people turned compulsive killers and innocent people were done to death on the suspicion that they were child lifters or kidney thieves. Will the centre and the state governments act now? It is the question of the will of the government at the centre which is overtly going soft on the Gau Rakshaks since the first incident occurred at Dadri village in Uttar Pradesh where an old man Mohammad Akhalaq was lynched in 2015 on the suspicion that he stored beef in his house. While the first incident in India of its kind created ripples on national and international level, the action of the government and the reaction of the ruling party BJP were as though it was a normal happening. Therefore firstly the BJP government has to realize the gravity of the crime before creating an atmosphere to curb the heinous offence.