The Rajasthan government on Tuesday introduced bills in the Assembly to prevent caste killings and mob lynchings in the state.

The Rajasthan Prohibition of Interference with the Freedom of Matrimonial Alliances in the Name of Honour and Tradition Bill, 2019 was introduced by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal. “Whoever causes death of a couple or either of them on the basis that marriage of such couple has dishonoured, or brought disrepute to the caste, community or family shall be punished with death, or with imprisonment for life, which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life, and with fine which may extend to Rs 5 lakh,” the bill said, according to PTI.

If a couple suffers grievous injuries, the accused will face 10 years in jail up to life imprisonment and fine of up to Rs 3 lakh. Accused could face three to five years in jail and a fine of up to Rs 2 lakh if the couple suffers minor injuries.

“The bill also has the provision of death penalty for the accused,” Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said on Twitter. “The purpose is to punish such acts of violence and criminal intimidation severely.”

The bill also proposes to stop the assembly of a group of people who intend to condemn a marriage on the basis that it has dishonoured a caste or community tradition or brought disrepute to all or any of the persons who are a part of the assembly. Any person who takes part in such an assembly could face from six months to five years in prison.

Mob lynching

The state government also introduced a bill in the Assembly against mob lynching. “Mob lynchings result in loss of livelihood, injuries and death of persons at the hands of mobs,” Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said on Twitter. “The purpose of the bill is to nip the evil in the bud, and to prevent spreading of hatred or incitement to mob lynching by creating special offences against it.”

The Rajasthan Protection from Lynching Bill, 2019 proposes life imprisonment and a fine up to Rs 5 lakh for those convicted of the offence. The bill places those who conspire or help in the act in the same category as those who commit mob lynching, according to PTI. The punishment in cases where the victim suffers grievous injuries is up to 10 years in prison and a fine of between Rs 25,000 to Rs 3 lakh.

According to the bill, the state’s director general of police will appoint a state coordinator of the rank of inspector general to prevent cases of lynching. District superintendents of police will act as district coordinators who will be assisted by a deputy superintendent of police to prevent mob violence and lynching.