The issue of lynchings on Wednesday was aggressively discussed in the Rajya Sabha where the Opposition alleged involvement of “some members” of BJP and Sangh Parivar in these incidents even as the government said communal colour should not be given to such violence.
As the House took up a discussion on the issue, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the government is equally concerned about the criminal incidents and everyone should speak in one voice to fight against “such destructive forces”.
The Centre condemns such incidents, Naqvi said, adding the states should take stringent legal action against those involved.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also made this clear during the All Party meeting recently, he added during the debate on ‘situation arising out of the reported increase in the incidents of lynching and atrocities on minorities and dalits across the country’.
He alleged that it’s a “conspiracy” that some are trying to “defame” the government and divert its agenda in the name of such incidents as they think they could level corruption charges on the government in the last three years.
Initiating the debate, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad attacked the government, saying the rise in these incidents was spreading the message of fear.
“Earlier it was done at individual level. You may not like it, all lynching is done by some members of the ruling party and Sangh Parivar,” he alleged.
It is done with a basic understanding and hence no arrests been made in the incidents that happened so far.
“They should have been jailed. Even I can identify hundreds. They are known to the media,” the Congress leader said.
Insisting that no Opposition party benefits from these incidents, he said but “one political party, the ruling party is benefiting. This is done for political harvest.”
Urging the government to take the matter seriously, Azad said, “This nation belongs to all. Your responsibility is more. You have to take the lead. We can help in creating an atmosphere. If you spoil the atmosphere...”
He urged the ruling party to give up “vote politics” and work towards making the country strong within to fight the external issues.
“This is not a religious battle. This is not Hindu-Muslim fight. This is everyone’s fight for humanity. When our home is weak, how can we fight the external forces...Our house has always been strong. Don’t break the house for votes,” he said.
Azad said not a single place is safe, from Jammu and Kashmir to Kanyakumari.
“Lynchings are reported from all over. Such incidents are happening for the first time. This used to happen during the medieval age, not even during British times,” he said.
He expressed sadness over the “disturbing trend” that no one comes forward to save a person being lynched.
Urging the Opposition to unite and speak with one voice in its fight against the destructive forces, Naqvi said: “Please don’t give communal angle to these incidents. If you give, you are helping them...”
“We should together defeat and isolate the destructive forces. We should speak in one voice. ...Please speak truth on this issue,” said Naqvi, who is also Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs.
Asserting that the government will not allow any “destructive forces” to dominate the development agenda, Naqvi said, “We do not wish any destructive forces to affect the government’s development agenda and the country’s culture.”
He added, “The policy of our government and the party is clear that we will not allow any destructive agenda to dominate on our development agenda.”
It would be misunderstanding on the part of “destructive forces” to think that by “fabricating the issues”, they can divert the attention, Naqvi said. “Then it would be nothing but “Mungeri Lal ke Haseen Sapne (day dreaming),” he said.
“This is a conspiracy. Anyone could be doing it. I am not taking any party names. I don’t want to get into it.”
Stating that lynching incidents were reported in the previous government regime too, the Minister said: “Whether lynching incidents happened before or now, strict legal action should be initiated against those involved.”
Refuting the Opposition charge that no action was taken against those involved in lynching incidents, he gave details of arrests made in Rajasthan, Haryana, Jharkhand and Maharasthra in the last six months.