Opposition hits out at Modi government over lynchings

Posted August 01, 2017

An aggressive opposition on Monday accused the Modi government of encouraging cow vigilantes to go for mob lynchings but the Centre argued that law and order needed to be tackled by states.

Countering Kharge, BJP Leader Hukmdev Narayan said that the Prime Minister had repeatedly condemned mob lynching and added that it was the states responsibility to keep a check on such incidents. Offering details of all major incidents of lynching in recent times - including the killing of Pehlu Khan in Rajasthan and Junaid Khan in Haryana - he cautioned that India (Hindustan) must not be allowed to degenerate into "Lynchistan". Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge had accused the government of shying away from a debate.

He said he could relate many incidents of 2014 and earlier - under Congress-led governments - when there were such attacks on minorities, mentioning a riot in a village of Maharashtra on March 17, 2014, over the alleged carrying of beef.

But members of the Congress, Left parties, Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Asaduddin Owaisi of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) were not satisfied with the minister's remarks.

However, he did not agree with Opposition parties' demand that the Prime Minister must speak on this issue in the Lower House. "Do you want the Prime Minister to break the federal structure and take over State governments?"

Trinamool Congress' Saugata Roy meanwhile said 97 per cent of the lynchings happened after the Modi government came to power.

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He said BJP leaders were afraid of fighting direct elections and were seeking a safer route through the Legislstive Council. I am a disciple of late Prime Minister Chandrashekhar, and I could not compromise with the issue of the nation.

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Between 30-40 others ran from the truck trailer when he opened the doors upon hearing banging and screaming within. Video footage from the store showed a number of vehicles arriving to pick up some of the survivors, he added.

"The government is indirectly encouraging groups like the VHP, the Bajrang Dal and also the Gau Rakshaks (Cow Vigilantes)", Kharge said, as he read out a list of a series of mob lynchings and attacks in the last three years.

He said opposition was raising these issues as they are short of ammunition to take on Modi government. You get unmasked when you raise these issues. He quoted BJP ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyay to say most Indian Muslims were Hindu descendants and hence both communities should live peacefully.

"Did the then Prime Minister ever condemn such incidents?" "He says something and does something else", Mr. Kharge said, seeking to know how many First Information Reports had been filed and how numerous accused were in jail.

"We should give a message we are one as parliament in condemning it".

Mr Paswan also wanted to know from the opposition whether they will like the Centre to send Armed Forces in the States to control incidents of mob lynching.