Following in the footsteps of Rajasthan, the West Bengal government led by Chief Minister (CM) Mamata Banerjee is set to bring in a draft bill against lynching in the state's Assembly today (30 August), The New Indian Express.
The bill which has been titled, 'The West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2019' prescribes a maximum punishment of five years of life imprisonment and fines from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.
In the bill, the act of lynching has been defined as “any act or series of acts of violence or aiding, abetting or attempting an act of violence, whether spontaneous or planned, by a mob (group of two or more individuals) on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary practices, sexual orientation, political affiliation, ethnicity or any other grounds.”
The bill also lays down that if anyone is found to be publishing, communicating or disseminating any offensive materials, either physically or electronically, the said person shall be liable to the punishment of a year of incarceration along with a fine of up to Rs 50,000.
The decision from the West Bengal administration comes at the backdrop of a series of mob lynching incidents having rocked the state in the recent past.