New Delhi: Condemning recent incidents of mob lynching and killings by the so-called cow vigilantes, finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday reiterated the government stand that nobody has the right to take law in their own hands. Such incidents should not be given a political colour, he added.
Jaitley was responding to a debate in the Rajya Sabha on the “rising incidents of lynching and atrocities on minorities and Dalits across the country", which began on Wednesday. “Nobody has the right to take the law in their own hands. If someone does do that, it should be condemned and the person should be arrested and prosecuted. We are the world’s largest democracy. We have an element of tolerance and mutual respect. There is no justification which can be done for violence," Jaitley said.
He said that the government didn’t stop at condemning the incidents but systematic enquiries had taken place.
“When we talk about tolerance, there is a large population in the country which has faith (in cow). This hasn’t happened when this government has come. The constitution has given the right to states to decide the law on cow slaughter. The home minister from the very first day and prime minister too have condemned incidents of taking law in the hands in name of cow protection. This should not be given a political colour. It is not a partisan issue," Jaitley added.
Opposition parties cornered the government and accused it of “creating an environment" for such incidents.
“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. It is better to stop double-speak and come clean," senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said while participating in the debate.
“It is unfortunate that such a condition has been created in the country that a student from Jawaharlal Nehru University goes traceless, people are lynched in the name of cow and condition has become so bad that people are afraid of travelling in buses and trains," veteran Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav said.
The Lok Sabha continued to see disruptions and was adjourned for the day after opposition parties raised slogans over agrarian crisis.
Meanwhile, vice-president Hamid Ansari on Thursday accepted Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati’s resignation. She sent a formal resignation to Ansari on Wednesday after she was not allowed to complete her impromptu speech on the issue of anti-Dalit violence in the house.
PTI contributed to this story.