Denying that there has been an increase in lynchings in the country under the BJP rule, union home minister Amit Shah said there was propaganda being created about the issue.
“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 told News18 Network’s Group Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi in an interview.
Several incidents of mob lynching have been reported from across the country in recent years, most 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.
Amid the growing concern, 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 said.
Claiming that lynching was not just a phenomenon under this government, the union home minister, who also heads a panel formed to tackle lynching, said a political colour has been given to law and order situations.
Recently, 49 eminent personalities had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the growing cases. The issue also featured in the Vijaydashami speech of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, but he disowned the word ‘lynching’, calling it a western concept.
Attempting to distance the government from the issue, the home minister 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.”
He added, “If any loot used to happen in villages and the people after getting hold of the thief would thrash him resulting in death that would happen in the past as well. A colour is being given to these incidents.”
When asked about the identity of lynching victims, as most of them in such incidents were Muslims or Dalits, Shah said, “It isn’t as such. You can look at the analysis of previous incidents too. Such incidents happen to the poor.”