Ranchi: Police on Sunday launched a mass awareness drive across Ranchi district to prevent mob lynching through poster campaigns in the wake of two back-to-back incidents of lynchings in the capital district.
The posters highlighted dos and don’ts to avert lynchings and the campaign will include other activities like street plays and public meetings among others in the coming days.
Talking to TOI SSP S K Jha said that even though police are always on their toes to prevent such heinous crimes, it is impossible without people’s cooperation. “Hence, we have begun the mega awareness drive across the district against lynching,” Jha, adding that they are also roping in social groups at police station levels to intensify the drive.
Between March 8 and 15 this year, two youths were lynched by mobs under Kotwali and Angara police station areas in Ranchi on suspicion of theft. The incidents have rocked the Jharkhand assembly where the budget session is going on with opposition BJP trying to put the state government in the dock over “failing law and order” in the capital.
The posters also highlighted that being part of a mob involved in lynching is a crime and will attract legal action. People are asked to inform the police immediately in cases any mob resorts to assault.
Jha said, “The identity of informants of such incidents will be kept confidential. In the posters, we have also included police control room numbers where anyone can inform us about any such incidents anywhere in the district.”
Jha further said they are planning to hold meetings with village and panchayat heads to seek their participation in creating awareness. “We have also come up with audio capsules for greater dissemination of anti-lynching messages through mobile vans and via radio platforms. Street plays are also being chalked out in local languages to sensitise the rural population,” he said, adding that while police try their best to arrest the criminals for speedy prosecution in lynching cases, but educating the public is the first step to prevent such happenings.
In recent years, alleged lynchings related to theft, cow smuggling and other crimes have emerged as one of the biggest menaces in the state. According to data compiled by the Jharkhand Janadhikar Manch, a conglomeration of social and rights groups, at least 19 persons were lynched between 2014 and 2019 when BJP was in power. The trend also continued even after the Hemant Soren government came into power, the manch said in a statement after the Angara lynching incident last week. It also demanded to frame of anti-lynching laws and implementation of various directives by the Supreme Court on the matter.