Abdul Bari Masoud | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI — In a bid to counter growing hate crimes including mob lynching against Dalits, Tribals, Muslims, Christians, and Sikhs, noted lawyer Mehmood Pracha has announced the launch of a self-defense movement. He asserted that there was no option left for weaker sections except to defend themselves as Sections 96 to 106 of the Indian Penal Code clearly envisaged the Right of Private Defense.
The movement, he said, will help the vulnerable poor masses to get licensed arms and will also impart training to use the arms within legal parameters to protect their lives.
Speaking to media here at the Press Club of India, Pracha said the present atmosphere is filled with hatred and demoralization of minorities and weaker sections because of a particular political ideology.
He pointed out that the Prime Minister’s open condemnations of hate crimes have no effect on individuals or organizations belonging to his own ideology as mob lynching incidents have been increasing with full impunity.
“The accused individuals and groups are aggressively defended by ministers and top leaders of the ruling party. False cases are registered against the victims with full connivance of the administration, thereby creating a justification for the unpardonable crimes,” he alleged, adding that on top of this, the accused who are involved directly or indirectly are rewarded repeatedly.
“Circumstances clearly point to the fact that these are just means and part of a well-organized strategy to take India back to pre-Constitution days when disparities and exploitation on the basis of caste, creed, and religion was accepted as a norm and in turn, negate all endeavours of the founding fathers of our country, especially that of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar”, he added.
In response to a question, the lawyer said that the victims are not getting justice due to the fact that existing institutions were deliberately subverted under this political ideology and even the categorical directions of the Supreme Court were ignored with impunity.
He cited the recent example of the Madhya Pradesh Muslim government official wanting to change his name to save himself from mob violence and the BJP MLA’s gun dance in Uttarakhand going viral as the latest pointers.
Blaming the RSS and its ideology, Pracha said the basic themes like GauRaksha, Love Jehad, Bharat Mata Ki Jai, Jai Sri Ram, etc were coined and are being propagated at the highest level by the RSS and its sister organizations. These seemingly pious themes are simultaneously evoking and doctoring hatred towards target groups.
He said the Constitution provides a legitimate way out of this precarious situation to the weaker sections.
“Law does provide effective solutions to this seemingly impossible situation as self-preservation and individual liberty is sacrosanct and most cherished principle of all democracies as also reflected in Indian Constitution”, he said.
Asking people from weaker sections to buy arms even if it requires the families to sell their valuables like ornaments etc, Pracha said the Sections 96 to 106 with the title of ‘the Right of Private Defence’ of Chapter IV of the IPC clearly states the legal guarantee for self defence.
In order to acquire this right, he suggested that the people should apply for arms licenses under the provisions of the Arms Act and procure and possess these legally arms for the enforcement of their own right as well as that of other members of weaker sections.
“We will provide physical training as well for dexterous handling of arms so that the legal boundaries set in section 99 IPC are never crossed,” he emphasised.
He has also assured that all legal help required and necessary for the fulfillment of these objectives – including the procurement of arms licences and defending people to exercise their right to self-defense shall be provided in the court of law if they are falsely prosecuted.
He has also asked the people to carry forward this movement and as supposed ‘ManavRakshaSamitis’ for protecting innocents from ‘GauRakshaSamitis’ and other such radical outfits.
When asked whether such training camps will not provoke the other communities, he said, “We are doing all these things under the Constitution and want people do not resort to illegal recourse, he quipped.
During the press conference, Pracha also announced that the first training camp would be held at Lucknow on July 26 on the invitation of Maulana Syed Kalbe Jawad.