PM Modi, Your Government Gives Political Backing to Lynch Mobs

PM Modi, Your Government Gives Political Backing to Lynch Mobs

Politics

Video Editors: Purnendu Pritam and Vivek Gupta
Cameraperson: Shiv Maurya

Prime Minister Modi, once every few months, you say that “Killing in the name of Gau Bhakti is not acceptable”. Recently, you also said, “We have only one agenda and that is vikas.”

But your Union Minister Mahesh Sharma refers to a mob lynching as an “accident”, your party’s youth workers beat up Swami Agnivesh, and your Member of Parliament promises to pay the legal fees of lynching accused.

So to you, dear Prime Minister, on this political backing your establishment gives to assault-accused and lynch mobs, I Have A Question.

(Photo: Harsh Sahani/The Quint)

Prime Minister, if you’re so concerned about the deaths by mob lynching and violence by gau rakshaks, why is it that so many of your MPs, party leaders and workers continue to get away with saying what they do without any censure? Let’s give you some examples.

In June 2018, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey said he would pay for the legal expenses of four men accused of lynching two Muslims in Jharkhand, allegedly on suspicion of cattle theft. Did the party reprimand him?

On 17 July, BJP workers were reportedly involved in assaulting social activist Swami Agnivesh. It’s caught on video, but even a day after the incident, not a single person had been arrested in BJP-ruled Jharkhand. Why?

Injured social activist Swami Agnivesh after being assaulted in Pakur, Jharkhand.
Injured social activist Swami Agnivesh after being assaulted in Pakur, Jharkhand.

When asked about it, BJP leader and Jharkhand’s Urban Development Minister CP Singh said, “He talks against Hindus, makes anti-national comments.”

That’s a Minister from your party, dear PM. Will there be any action taken against CP Singh?

In Uttar Pradesh, another BJP-ruled state, where CM Yogi Adityanath boasts about improving the law and order situation, the police will look you in the eye and say that the Hapur lynching is a case of road rage! Despite ample evidence to the contrary. Is that their order from above, then?

Also Read : Hapur Lynching: Gau Rakshaks, Police Apathy & A Survivor’s Ordeal

The spate of such killings have become so frequent that the Supreme Court urged the Central government to come up with a separate law on mob lynching.

On 29 June 2017, Prime Minister, you had said, “Killing people in the name of Gau Bhakti is not acceptable.”

That same day, in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh, Alimuddin Ansari was lynched, allegedly on suspicion that he was carrying beef.

Alimuddin Ansari was made to pose for photos while he was being beaten. On the right is the Maruti van that was burnt on 29 June 2017.
Alimuddin Ansari was made to pose for photos while he was being beaten. On the right is the Maruti van that was burnt on 29 June 2017.
(Photo: Aishwarya S Iyer/The Quint)

Also Read : Ten Questions For PM Modi Ahead of His Trust Vote Speech

In March 2018, a fast-track court convicted 11 people for Alimuddin's murder, including a local BJP leader and three members of a gau raksha samiti.

In July, Union Minister Jayant Sinha, who is the MP from where the lynching took place, garlanded eight of the convicts after they managed to get bail. A Member of Parliament garlanding individuals convicted of lynching Muslims.

Mariyam Khatun, Alimuddin Ansari’s wife told the media, “The way they were felicitated, it seemed like they were not murderers but saved someone's life.”

Sinha’s half-baked apology after a deluge of public criticism? He said, “If by garlanding them, a message has gone out that I am endorsing vigilantism, I regret that.”

Really? What else was he doing there, if not endorsing convicted murderers? What noble task had these particular people performed that they deserved garlanding by a Union Minister?

And you know as well as I do that the list goes on and on and on.

  • Union Minister Mahesh Sharma called Akhlaq’s murder an accident with no communal colour.
  • Home Minister of Rajasthan, Gulab Chand Kataria, called Pehlu Khan being lynched a case of “manhandling” and said “there are two sides to this.”
  • Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi went one step further, and said the incident never took place at all.
  • Union Minister Giriraj Singh met and defended Hindu right-wing activists jailed for communal clashes.

Were any of these high-ranking individuals in the BJP and ministers in your government acting against your wishes? If so, why were were they not acted against? Why were they not punished?

Because dear Prime Minister, your leaders and your party machinery are weaponising the food in our fridges, the cattle in our fields, and the fake news on our phones.

These polarising speeches by your leaders and their spirited defence of mob violence may serve you and the BJP electorally, or it may not. But one thing is for certain – they will certainly embolden the individuals that make the mobs, giving them an impunity that only political backing can.

So why continue to give them that, Prime Minister?

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