Glorification of Gau Rakshaks’ violence: Is it a stigma or a new brand of the BJP government?

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Gau Rakshak violence which started during the Modi regime and which despite the Prime Minister and Supreme Court’s intervention could not be stopped is now glorified by none other than a Union Minister giving an approval to it very overtly. It was the Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha who warmly welcomed eight persons, offered them sweets and garlanded them ignoring the fact or keeping it in mind that they were convicted on the charge of murder of a Muslim trader Alimuddin Ansari who was lynched by Gau Rakshaks on the suspicion that he was carrying beef at Ramgarh last June. A fast track court found guilty 11 persons and sentenced them to life imprisonment for lynching the innocent Muslim. Eight out of them got bail from Jharkhand High Court and met the minister. There is no objection for the convicts calling on the minister because everyone can meet him and he is supposed to hear them. However, the way the minister behaved, welcomed and felicitated them shows that Jayant Sinha willingly appreciated their crime. Minister knows very well that they were not acquitted, but only given bail. Even where the minister thinks that they were innocent and wrongly implicated he is not supposed to honour them the way he did.

Celebrating criminals means approving the crime and encouraging others to commit the same crime. A minister who takes oath to safeguard the constitution cannot willingly attack the constitutional values. His act adversely affects the image of the government. While the opposition strongly condemned his behavior and demanded the government to sack him, no reaction is emanating from the government or any BJP leader. One has to come to conclusion that the ruling party and the government approve the action of the minister perhaps because the crime was committed by the convicts as Gau Rakshaks and the victim is a Muslim. The Prime Minister has been keeping mum and it means he himself has okayed the glorification of the Gau Rakshaks crime. It means he was not sincere when he condemned the violence of the Gau Rakshaks. One can understand that why despite the PM’s condemnation, there is no halt to the bloody activities of cow vigilantes. After reading the mind of the government and the PM, the administration is least bothered to follow the fiat of the Supreme Court which asked the states to appoint nodal officers in every district to curb the criminal activities of the Gau Rakshaks.

The Congress and other political parties demanded the ouster of the minister but it fell on the deaf ears of the PM. When the PM did not differ from the line of action of the minister, where is the question of taking action against him? Former Mumbai police commissioner Julio Ribeiro, former information commissioner Wajahat Habeebullah and 41 other bureaucrats in a statement pleaded with the government to remove the minister because his action was tantamount to interfering in a criminal case and supporting the convicts. They said the action of the minister meant a licence was given to the cow vigilantes to kill the Muslims. If the government is mum one should come to the conclusion that it is a new brand of the BJP government at the centre.

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