Kolkata: Following Rajasthan’s footsteps, now West Bengal is planning to introduce an anti-lynching bill in the Assembly. The draft bill proposes life imprisonment as maximum punishment for the perpetrators and also fines ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.
According to a report, the West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2019 is expected to be introduced in the House on August 30. The bill describes lynching as any attempt or act of violence by a mob on the “grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary practices, sexual orientation, political affiliation, ethnicity or any other ground”.
Further, the bill will also aim to ensure that “constitutional rights of those who are vulnerable are protected”, a TMC leader told News18.
A nodal officer will also be appointed for periodic assessment of local intelligence inputs to identify potential flashpoints. The bill also mandates that lynching incidents will be investigated by an officer, not below the rank of an inspector.
For all those “publishing, communicating or disseminating offensive material by any method – physical or electronic”, a fine of up to Rs 50,000 will be imposed. Others, who create “a hostile environment for a person or a group of persons”, a maximum of three years and fine up to Rs 1 lakh will be imposed.
The Rajasthan Assembly had on August 5 passed a Bill providing for life imprisonment and a fine from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh to those convicted of mob lynching.