While Opposition has been slamming the Modi government for rise in lynching, union home minister Amit Shah has denied the allegations saying that there was propaganda being created about the issue.
In an interview to News18, Amit Shah said, “If any person is killed, we have section 302 for that. This has been applied everywhere. BJP governments have investigated such matters and chargesheeted suspects. Now, if you want to give it a political angle or you want to understand this as a social evil, then that is what society has to decide.” Shah, however, said there already are laws to deal with this and expressed confidence that spreading awareness can help solve the issue.
In recent years, many cases of lynching were reported across the country, most of them linked to suspicion of cow slaughter. Men from the Muslim community have also been beaten to death after being harassed for not chanting Bharat Mata ki Jai or Jai Shree Ram. Interestingly, earlier a report had surfaced saying that Amit Shah will head the Group of Ministers (GoM) that was constituted last year to combat lynching.
The Supreme Court had last year directed the central government to enact a legislation, but that hasn’t happened so far. Shah, however, said there already are laws to deal with this and expressed confidence that spreading awareness can help solve the issue. “There are laws, and there is a need to properly investigate the matter, apply those laws. Home ministry has issued an advisory in the matter too,” he told the News18.
Over the past few months, several instances of Muslim men were assaulted by mobs and forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. The most notable incident was the lynching of Tabrez Ansari, a 24-year-old who was tied up and thrashed, while being forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Jai Hanuman’.
Protesting such incidents, 49 artists and eminent personalities wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying mob lynching should be stopped immediately. ‘Jai Shri Ram’ has become a provocative war cry with many lynchings taking place in its name, they said.
But the Home Minister distance the government from the issue, said that by creating awareness about this evil, this issue can be resolved. “The instances of so called mob-lynchings haven't increased under the BJP. A certain propaganda is being created about this,” Shah told News18.