Strict law on anvil to punish stoners: MP CM Chouhan
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Sunday there would be a strict law to deal with crimes related to stoning and damage to public and private property in Madhya Pradesh.
“Stoners are enemies of society … Stoning is not a simple crime that can cause loss of life, create an atmosphere of fear and terror, and result in stampede and chaos. There will be a rule of law in Madhya Pradesh. These criminals are not petty criminals. They will not be spared, ”the prime minister said in response to journalists’ questions about certain stoning incidents that took place in the Malwa region during public awareness rallies on Ayodhya Ram Temple in December last week by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and partner organizations.
“We will come up with a strict law to deal with such crimes[stone pelting]… Many times, rioters damage public property, set it on fire and also damage private property … this is an unforgivable crime, ”added the CM. He said that democracy allows people to express their opinions peacefully.
“I have already instructed the authorities regarding the new law and it is being worked on. Soon there will be such a law, ”he said.
CM’s announcement came in the wake of stoning incidents against VHP and public awareness rallies by partner groups in Ujjain on December 25 and in Indore on December 29. FIRs were filed against about 100 people from both sides and several defendants were arrested. Provisions of the National Security Act (NSA) were invoked against six defendants in Ujjain who allegedly participated in stone throwing. The house of one of the accused allegedly built illegally was razed in Ujjain in a joint operation by the district administration, the police and the civic body, according to police and administrative authorities.
In particular, a law has been in force in Uttar Pradesh, governed by the BJP, to recover damages to public and private property from rioters and protesters.
Reacting to the CM’s announcement, the state congressional media coordinator, Narendra Saluja, said: “Any strict law against stoning is a welcome step, but the CM should also have spoken out about the crime of holding religious demonstrations without permission, breaking into at the shrines of a religion, coining provocative slogans against the religion, vandalizing the property of the community in particular, including shrines, as seen recently in the Malwa region. Isn’t this a crime in the CM’s eyes? Will you make provision for severe punishment for such crimes as well? “