Panaji: Under attack over lynch mobs killing those suspected of cow slaughter or eating beef, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah has termed such incidents as “serious", but claimed more of these were reported under the previous governments than during three years of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) rule.
He also insisted there was “no apprehension or fear" anywhere in the country in the aftermath of such incidents. “I do not want to compare and undermine the current incidents of lynching. I am also serious about it. But there have been more lynching incidents in 2011, 2012 and 2013," Shah told a gathering of professionals in Goa on Saturday evening.
“There have been more lynchings each year in the past, compared to the total lynching incidents that have happened during our three-year-long tenure," the BJP leader said, without elaborating.
The BJP-led government under Narendra Modi came to power at the Centre in May 2014. “Do you know of any such incident where arrests have not been made? I do not have any answer to apprehensions. There is no apprehension anywhere in the country," he said, responding to a question about whether an environment of fear prevailed after mobs beat up people over alleged cow slaughter or beef consumption, often leading to their death.
Noting that law and order was a state subject, Shah said when Mohammad Akhlaq was beaten to death at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh in September 2015 over suspicion of storing and consuming beef, the state had a Samajwadi Party government and it was its responsibility to prevent the incident.
“But protests were held in Delhi in front of the Narendra Modi government. What is this fashion?" he asked. A string of such incidents have been reported from several states including BJP-rule Jharkhand, Haryana and UP, shocking the nation and prompting protests.
Recently, a 15-year-old boy Junaid Khan was stabbed to death by a group of men on a train when he was returning home to Haryana’s Ballabh district after shopping for Eid. Junaid bled to death after a heated argument over seats turned violent. His assailants allegedly accused Junaid, his brother and friends of being beef eaters.
In Jharkhand’s Ramgarh, Mohd Allimuddin, a Muslim meat trader was beaten to death on Thursday by cow vigilantes who alleged he was carrying beef in his vehicle. Nityanand Mahto, a local BJP leader is among those arrested in connection with the incident.