The BJP and Congress' fight over the number of lynchings under each other's regime may come to an end if the NCRB's plan is executed. The National Crime Records Bureau is now mulling the possibility of recording, maintaining and analysing instances of mob lynching in India on an annual basis.
The NCRB projects official numbers of crimes that take place in India annually. Currently, lynching is clubbed under murder and has no separate documentation. With increasing incidents of lynching in the country and with an aim of documenting the reason for such incidents, the NCRB is now planning to maintain records of instances of lynching under a separate crime head.
The idea that is in the planning stages is yet to be taken to the Union Home Ministry. The NCRB will begin collecting data on lynching once the proposal is formally presented to the Union Home Ministry and is approved. In 2014, the bureau had increased crime heads from 22 to 36. Once approved by the Home Minister, another revision in Crime heads will be made to make way for statistics on lynching. Currently, media reports, only those reported, are the only source of information on lynching while no official records are maintained.
Multiple instances of lynching have been making it to national headlines recently with political parties indulging in blame game. The official numbers are expected to give a clear picture of now just the number of such incidents but also the cause for the same. In many cases theft, caste, beef, witchcraft etc have been the reason behind mob lynchings. The lynching of a police officer in Kashmir along with multiple recent incidents have forced the officials to consider the necessity for such a record.
The data will also be crucial to identify core issues and form policies accordingly. The NCRB, according to a report, has been seeking inputs from different states on whether such information is collected independently. "When cases are filed, there is neither the space nor the need, in the given scenario, to make a separate note of whether it is a case of mob lynching. When 3 or more people are involved, it is considered a riot and accused are booked for murder. There is no separate data on mob lynching and perhaps, having one will help," opined a senior IPS officer.
Reports also suggested that apart from lynching as a crime head, NCRB intends to expand its performance by including statistics of selfie deaths etc.