Amit Shah to head panel constituted to tackle mob violence and lynching

Union Home minister Amit Shah will head the panel constituted to combat incidents of mob violence and lynching across the country, a report in The Hindu stated. The government had formed a Group of Ministers (GoM) last year to deliberate on incidents of lynching and make recommendations. When constituted, the panel was headed by then Home minister Rajnath Singh. The report quoted a senior government official as saying that the GoM was position specific, and the present cabinet would be part of the new committee. Headed by Amit Shah, the new GoM consists of External Affairs minister S Jaishankar, Roadways minister Nitin Gadkari, Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Social Justice and Empowerment minister Thawar Chand Gehlot. Last year, the Supreme Court had issued a slew of directions to the Centre to curb mob violence and the rising incidents of lynching. The apex court sought the Centres response last week on whether measures had been put in place to prevent lynchings. Minister of state for Home G Kishan Reddy had last week informed the Parliament that the Centre had constituted a GoM which was tasked with deliberating over lynchings and suggest preventie and remedial measures to the government. Last month, a man in Jharkhand died in the hospital after he was beaten by a mob on suspicion of theft. A video of the incident showed that Tabrez Ansari, the victim, had been forced to chant In the video, Ansari can also be seen saying Jai Shri Ram and pleading with the mob to let him go. After these incidents came to light, 49 activists, filmmakers and artists wrote a letter to Prime minister Narendra Modi expressing concern over how Jai Shri Ram had become a provocative war cry. Among the signatories were filmmakers Anurag Kashyap, Shyam Benegal, Mani Ratnam, Aparna Sen, actors Konkona Sensharma, Soumitra Chatterjee, historian Ramchandra Guha, social workers Aditi Basu, Anuradha Kapoor among others. 254 religious identity-based hate crimes were reported between Januray 1, 2009 and October 29, 2018 where at least 91 persons were killed and 579 were injured ( database (October 30, 2018), It went on to added that 90% of these attacks had been reported after May 2014, when the BJP government assumed power nationally.