Killings in Name of Cow Sentiment Unacceptable: Arun Jaitley

Jaitley’s comments came after the Rajya Sabha erupted on Thursday on the issue of lynchings.

3 min read
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. 

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said in response to the Opposition’s accusations that the government will show no sympathy to those lynching people in the name of cow protection. Jaitley said in the Rajya Sabha:

Nobody has the right to take law in his hands. And if somebody does, he should be condemned, arrested, and prosecuted. The government’s stand is very clear — nobody is allowed to do that.

He was replying to a short duration discussion on the situation arising out of increasing incidents of lynching and atrocities on minorities and Dalits across the country. Jaitley said, adding that the central government is absolutely committed on the issue and has already sent an advisory to the states:

... there is no rationalisation, no argument about hurting of sentiments can be an explanation for the crime.

He said Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has already spoken on the matter with the state governments.

"Therefore, the law will certainly take its course in these cases. No amount of sympathy will be shown to these people. The Prime Minister has spoken thrice on the issue," Jaitley said.

Congress Lashes out at Centre Over Lynchings

Congress leader Kapil Sibal, while speaking in the Rajya Sabha on lynchings, alleged that the Prime Minister was doing nothing to restrain cow vigilantes who, he said, include elements from the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal.

Sibal said the year 2017 has witnessed maximum murders and the cattle ban had negatively impacted the the leather industry, besides industries like soap and shampoo.

Sibal said:

I am shaken and shattered by the images of grotesque violence and heart-wrenching scenes (which) I have seen on social media and Twitter. We did not see it in the last 50 years.

He went on to question, "What is the sentiment behind it? Why 97 percent of the violence has taken place after 2017?"

Targeting the Prime Minister, he said it was Modi who had "provoked" such sentiments and quoted his three speeches on 8 October 2015, 6 August 2016, and 29 June 2017.

Sibal said paradoxically in one of the speeches, the PM had said that some people were involved in the crime during night and during the day they converted into 'gaurakshaks', but no action was taken against such people. The Congress leader lashed out, saying:

It is the PM whose statement is different during night and different during day ... It is the PM who is creating such an environment. It is better to stop double speak and come clean.

He said the Prime Minister should not just quote Mahatma Gandhi but follow him in letter and spirit.

Sibal said the VHP has announced creating a “holy army of gaurakshaks” and recruited 2,700 people.

Sibal said:

These are recruited by VHP and trained by Bajrang Dal. Why doesn’t he (PM) say that VHP and Bajrang Dal were anti-social? He gets political support for elections. Hindutva ideology has created a reign of terror.

He said the fight today is between "fake" and "real" hindu. He said the House needs to rise to stop hooligans who were out to destroy peace and tranquility of the nation.

Lok Sabha Adjourned Due to Ruckus

Chaos also ensued in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, forcing Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to adjourn the House for the day, after two brief adjournments earlier.

The Speaker adjourned the House for the day when Opposition members led by the Congress continued with their protest over several issues, including farmers' issues and media reports about a BJP leader in Kerala allegedly taking bribes in lieu of promising the Medical Council of India recognition for a private college.

Amid the din, papers were laid and some reports were tabled.

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