Lynching Case: Union Minister Giriraj calls on riot accused in Bihar jail

Patna: After BJP Minister Jayant Sinha feted eight convicts in a lynching case, it is the turn of his Cabinet colleague Giriraj Singh to visit riot-accused VHP and Bajrang Dal leaders in jail in Nawada (Bihar). The visit went beyond the show of solidarity with Giriraj giving the accused a testimonial of good conduct. “They’ve always helped in maintaining peace in all situations. How can you call them rioters?’’ he said in a tweet.

Giriraj also said the three right wing activists had been implicated in false cases by the district administration and jailed. Defending his jail visit, he said: “Why can’t I meet leaders of Bajrang dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad who have been falsely implicated and jailed. I have not barged into someone’s house but duly informed the District Magistrate about my visit. Whatever I have done is out of compassion and sensitivity.”

After the Ram Navmi clashes of April 2017, the police had lodged cases against some leaders in several districts. Bajrang Dal’s Jitendra Pratap and VHP’s Kailash Vishwakarma were arrested four days ago for their alleged role in the riots. Giriraj Singh and Chief Minister Nitish have not been the best of friends and there has been a move in a section of the BJP to project Giriraj as the chief ministerial face of the NDA in Bihar.

The visit over, Singh attacked the Nitish Kumar government, accusing it of resorting to a witch-hunt. “It seems to be ingrained in the administration and the government that there can only be communal harmony if Hindus are oppressed,’’ he asserted.

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