The Congress has hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah and said it was high time they took ‘corrective action’ against the mob frenzy and lynching incidents across the country, which President Pranab Mukherjee had rightly flagged.
“It is high time the BJP government takes note of this widespread mob frenzy and lynching incidents, rightly flagged by the President of India and Congress president. Instead of falsification, lies and distortion, without any facts or numbers, the BJP would do better to take note of the anger which is engulfing the citizens of India against vigilantism by their own partymen,” said Congress media cell chief Randeep Surjewala.
He said three years had passed since the BJP came to power at the Centre and “we have seen enough of platitudes, speeches and alibis, it is time for some corrective action”.
Hitting out at Shah, the Congress leader said even the president had shown the “mirror of truth” to the BJP on the growing incidents of “mob frenzy” which had become “irrational, uncontrollable” and had tacit protection and support of the government, yet the BJP chief had resorted to “falsehood and utter brazenness”.
Shah, he said, instead of listening to the “conscience keeper of the nation”, had “most shamelessly chosen to ignore the reality of a bizarre yet concerted ‘Lynching Movement’, which the government had overtly supported and encouraged in the last few months”.
Surjewala also asked Shah whether it was not a fact that more than 50 cases of lynching and mob justice had taken place in the country in the three years of the BJP rule.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks about a new India. Is this the new India his party wants to create, where ruthless mobs take law in their own hands and hapless people are lynched and beaten to death?” he asked.
Surjewala alleged that the Sangh Parivar organisations “associated with the BJP”, including the Bajrang Dal and the VHP, had actively been “instrumental” in many of these dastardly acts. “Why has no action been taken against them?” he asked.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, recently at the Sabarmati Ashram, said vigilante justice in the name of Gau Raksha (cow protection) was completely unacceptable. He had made a similar statement in August 2016. But, nothing seems to have changed. “Why doesn’t the voice of Modi, who sheds crocodile tears occasionally (for public consumption) by invoking Gandhiji and Vinoba Bhave, never reach the vigilante, nor is the rule of law and Constitution upheld to punish them?,” he asked.
Surjewala said Nityanand Mahato, the media in-charge of the BJP’s Ramgarh unit in Jharkhand, was arrested by the police on Saturday over an incident of mob lynching of a man which was reported from Jharkhand last week.
Mahato, he alleged, had instigated the mob and added that a video of the incident not only showed that the BJP leader was present at the spot, but that he dragged the deceased, Alimuddin Ansari, out of his vehicle.
“As he (Mahato) kept watching, the mob thrashed Ansari mercilessly,” he alleged quoting the Jharkhand Police. “Will Shri Amit Shah blame the Congress-UPA for the merciless death of these individuals, in which his own partymen are involved?” the Congress spokesperson asked.
He claimed that such incidents of mob lynching had occurred in “every BJP-ruled state”. “Rumours are spread by the vested interests to mobilise the mobs, who then are encouraged to attack their targets with a state-aided licence to kill,” alleged the Congress spokesperson.
Surjewala said Modi and Amit Shah must have taken note of the nationwide protests launched by the citizens and civil society groups, which had once again “shaken the conscience” of the nation.