The government does not maintain specific data on incidents of lynching in the country, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

Ahir said state governments were capable of dealing with such offences under existing laws, reported PTI. “The National Crime Records Bureau does not maintain specific data with respect to lynching incidents,” he told the Upper House.

The minister said the Ministry of Home Affairs issues advisories to states and Union Territories from time to time to “maintain law and order and ensure that any person who takes law into his or her own hand is punished promptly as per law”.

Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) demanded that a comprehensive anti-lynching law be enacted in this Parliament session following a Supreme Court directive on Tuesday. “It is the duty of the state to ensure maintenance of law and order so as to protect secular ethos and prevent mobocracy,” the party said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, the Trinamool Congress gave a Zero Hour notice over the matter and called for a debate in the Upper House. Communist Party of India MP D Raja moved an adjournment motion over the incidents of lynching as well as the attack on social activist Agnivesh in Jharkhand’s Pakur district on Tuesday.

The CPI(M) also condemned the attack on Agnivesh by alleged workers of the Bharatiya Janta Yuva Morcha and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidya Parishad, and said that the BJP government in the state would deal with them lightly. Not punishing culprits who had been identified spoke volumes of the “patronisation provided by the RSS/BJP”, it said.

In the Lok Sabha, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor also spoke about the growing incidents of intolerance and violence. “Agnivesh was also attacked,” he said. “We should not stand by as mob lynching and hooliganism rule democracy.”