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Measures to Prevent Mob Violence and Lynching Incidents

Published in Police.

WEST BENGAL POLICE DIRECTORATE
BHABANI BHAWAN, ALIPORE
KOLKATA – 700 027

Memo No. 678/Law Cell/Adm/CR-397/18 Dated the 18th September, 2018

CIRCULAR

Subject: Compliance to the guidelines issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in its Judgement passed on 17th July, 2018 in WP (Civil) No.754 of 2016 in the matter of Tehseen S. Poonawalla Vs. Union of India and others.

In continuation of this office Memo No. 660/Law Cell/ADM/CR/LC-397/18 dated 30th August, 2018 under which the above noted judgement has been circulated, the following directions are issued for compliance of the guidelines passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India:

i. All the Superintendents of Police in the districts and Commissioners of Police in the Commisionerates shall take necessary measures to prevent mob violence and lynching incidents.

ii. The Superintendent of Police shall be the Nodal Officer in respect of his district. He shall also constitute a Special Task Force so as to collect intelligence reports about the people who are likely to commit such crimes or who are involved in spreading hate speeches, provocative statements and fake news. The Commissioner of Police shall also designate a DCP rank officer as Nodal Officer for the above purpose and make necessary arrangement as stated above. The Superintendents of Police and Commissioners of Police shall also designate one Dy. SP/ACP rank officer for watching the situation closely and taking necessary actions.

iii. The Superintendents of Police and Commissioners of Police shall forthwith identify areas under their jurisdiction and/or villages/ localities where instances of lynching and mob violence have been reported in the last 5 years. The process of identification should be done within a period of 3 weeks and such events shall be archived in the District Intelligence Branches, Special Branches in the Commissionerates and Intelligence Branch, West Bengal.

iv. The officers-in-charge of the identified areas shall maintain extra vigil and keep watch on social media with the help of the Special Police Units being set up to counter hate messages and videos on social media and take legal action against those spreading rumours.

v. The Superintendents of Police and Nodal Officers in the Commissionerates shall hold regular monthly meetings with Local Intelligence Units and officer-in-charge of Police Stations so as to identify the tendency of vigilantism, mob violence or lynching and take necessary steps to stop instances of dissemination of offensive material through different social media platforms or any other means. The Superintendents of Police, Commissioners of Police and Nodal Officers shall also make efforts to eradicate hostile environment against any community or caste which can be targeted in such incidents. The Superintendents of Police and Commissioners of Police shall bring to the notice of the DG and IGP of any inter-district and inter-state coordination issues for devising a strategy to tackle such incidents and to defuse tension.

vi. The issues relating to mob violence and lynching, vigilantism, incitement to violence by spreading rumours and fake news through social media platforms shall continue to remain on agenda of the Monthly Video Conference.

vii. Police officers should take effective measures for dispersing mobs indulging in violence or mob lynching in the disguise of vigilantism or otherwise.

viii. Intensive patrolling in sensitive areas based on intelligence reports shall be introduced and properly supervised by the Superintendents of Police and DCPs nominated as Nodal Officer by the Commissioners of Police.

ix. The District SPs and CPs are directed to intensify police patrolling in sensitive areas keeping in view the incidents of the past and intelligence reports.

x. Intelligence Branch shall give special emphasis on collection, collation and dissemination of intelligence related to the issues and regularly alert the Nodal Officers in the districts and commissionerates.

xi. CID, West Bengal shall take necessary measures to issue directions for taking preventive measures based on inputs and to ensure that criminal cases registered in this regard are supervised properly and necessary action taken timely and effectively. CID shall also monitor trial of important cases.

xii. FIR shall be registered under appropriate section of law including Section 153-A of IPC against persons who disseminate irresponsible and explosive messages and videos having content which is likely to incite mob violence and lynching.

2. This issues with approval of the Director General and Inspector General of Police, West Bengal.

Sd/- P. Nirajnayan
Director General and Inspector General of Police
(Administration)

No. 678 dated 18.09.2018, Source