New Delhi: The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the government agency that keeps a record of all crimes in the country, is planning to create a national database of lynching incidents.
The plan will be sent to the Union Home Ministry, and if approved, the bureau will collect detailed data on the number of cases, as well as analyse the causes and any patterns behind the incidents, Indian Express reported. At present, national or state crime data does not distinguish general violence from cow-related attacks and lynchings.
With no data available to fact check, it also leads to claims and counter claims among the ruling BJP and opposition parties about whose government was worse when it came to dealing with mob violence. While Congress claims there has been an unprecedented rise in lynchings under the Narendra Modi government, BJP says there were more cases in between 2011-2013, when Congress was at the Centre.
A national databases that is updated annually will put all these debates to rest. According to an NCRB official, several states have been roped in for the process and are being asked if they have collected any data on lynchings on their end. Once the feasibility study of the data collection is completed, a proposal would be made to the government.
NCRB Director Ish Kumar said that one meeting was held on Tuesday, but said the plan is still at a nascent stage. He said that with the rising number of cases, the agency thought that there must be data that can then lead to a study on what drives these murderous mobs. This, he said, would help lawmakers form a policy to check such crime.
In the absence of any government records, private bodies have attempted to give a statistical perspective to cases. A report by IndiaSpend found that there has been over 20 cases of cow-related violence in the first six months of 2017, and the current year is on track to be the worst since 2010.
There have been a series of lynching cases in the last few weeks, including of 16-year-old Junaid, who was stabbed to death on a train after a dispute over seat turned communal. Junaid’s brothers were also assaulted by a mob.
Pehlu Khan, a farmer from Haryana, was also murdered in April by so-called cow protectors in Rajasthan while transporting cows legally purchased from a market in Jaipur. A man in Jharkhand was also killed by a mob over suspicions of transporting beef, and in Bengal, three Muslim men were lynched on allegations of cow smuggling.