Agitating protesters damaging property must face the law: Supreme Court

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Those who destroy public property, hold people to ransom and disturb the law and order situation during violent agitations should bear serious implications with jail terms and exemplary fines. The leaders or office bearers must be liable to present themselves for questioning at a police station within 24 hours. On failing to attend the questioning without giving any satisfactory reason, they will be proceeded against as a suspect first and absconder later, said the Supreme Court. 

Agitators cannot vandalise public property and hold everything to ransom to get their demands met, said the apex court bench underlining that those involved in the destruction of public property would not escape the consequences of their actions.

The Supreme Court's strong observation has come when violent protests over issues like cow protection, religion sentiments, price hike, movies or political ideologies are rampant in the country. Turning the screws on such protests by fringe groups and radical organisations, the top court also explained that the leaders or chiefs would be granted bail only after paying the estimated charge to compensate the loss or damage.

To prevent lynching incidents and mob violence in the country, the SC bench has appointed a nodal officer for each district who would act in the sabotage or vandalism cases.

“A person arrested for either committing or initiating, promoting, instigating or in any way causing to occur any act of violence which results in loss of life or damage to property may be granted conditional bail after depositing quantified loss caused due to the perpetrated violence “, the SC further said.
With inputs from The Times of India

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