New Delhi: The Opposition parties on Wednesday raised the issue of a spurt in mob-lynching incidents, including cow vigilantism, and demanded that there should be a separate Central law banning lynching, even as a Samajwadi Party (SP) member’s remark sparked a controversy.
Earlier, replying to queries during the Question Hour the government ruled out a separate law against mob lynching, saying that the existing laws can deal with it.
Raising the issue in the Rajya Sabha, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said no one has a “license to kill” and somehow members of the “Parivar (Sangh Parivar)” are found involved in such incidents, which clearly shows that they do not heed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s warning on cow vigilantism.
The Upper House witnessed angry scenes after SP’s Naresh Agrawal made a controversial statement, to which the treasury benches reacted strongly saying he had hurt the religious sentiments of the majority.
Mr Agrawal later had to express regret after the treasury benches forced an adjournment. Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar said, “He (Agrawal) cannot hurt the sentiments of the majority. He cannot hold the House to ransom.” The BJP members were on their feet demanding apology and shouted slogans Bhagwan ka apman nahi chalega (disrespect to Gods will not be tolerated).
Leader of the House and finance minister Arun Jaitley said, “If he had said this outside, he would have been liable to prosecution...You have not realised the gravity of what you have said. Do you have the audacity to say the same about other Gods?” When the House re-assembled after two adjournments, Mr Agrawal said he did not intend to hurt anybody’s sentiments. “If someone has been hurt, I express my regret,” the SP member said.
Later, deputy chairman P.J. Kurien ruled that part of Mr Agrawal’s remarks had been expunged.
“I have gone through the records. It is per se derogatory and hurting the sentiments of the majority community...I have expunged these remarks... He should not have made the remarks,” said Mr Kurien.
Issue beyond religion: Congress
Earlier, Mr Azad cited lynching incidents, including that of Kashmir police officer Ayub Pandith in Srinagar, and said the issue is beyond religion.
He said though lynching incidents took place earlier also but these days somehow members of the “parivar (sangh parivar)” are found involved. He also questioned why no one gets caught for such incidents.
Minister of state, parliamentary affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said these incidents are purely criminal and requested that these should not be given a communal colour. He also informed the members about action taken by state governments after lynching incidents in Haryana, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. He said nationalism is only equated as Hindu nationalism.
“When we say Bharat mata ki jai we include every religion. Do not distinguish on patriotic slogans,” said Mr Yechury as he demanded a law against lynching.
However, the government has ruled out a separate law against mob lynching and said the existing laws can deal with it. Earlier, replying to queries during the Question Hour, on the same issue, minister of state for home affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said that whether a lynching is done by a single person or a group, the existing laws can deal with it.