Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir on Monday said the central government will soon bring a bill proposing the death penalty for those accused in incidents of lynching. The proposed bill will be on the lines of a legislation seeking capital punishment for those convicted of raping girls below the age of 12 years, Ahir said.

“Lynching is a barbaric crime and no civilised society can accept it,” the minister told a delegation of the Nathjogi community in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal city. “The Union government will soon bring a bill proposing death penalty for lynching.”

The delegation informed the minister about a lynching incident where a mob killed five members of the Nathjogi community, a nomadic tribe, on July 1 in Dhule district in north Maharashtra on suspicion that they were child kidnappers. The Maharashtra Police detained 24 people in connection with the case.

Ahir said the Centre and the Maharashtra government have taken note of the incident. The delegation also said that Nathjogi children are deprived of education despite the Right to Education Act being in force.

The minister’s remarks come in the wake of a spate of incidents of mob violence over cow smuggling and child lifting being reported from various parts of the country. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on Monday said incidents such as lynchings result from frustration when people are not able to find jobs.

Earlier this month, a Supreme Court bench had told the Parliament to consider creating a new penal provision to deal with incidents of vigilantism, saying that mobocracy cannot be allowed in society.