New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that he was "pained" by the lynching of 24-year-old man in Jharkhand. However, he added that it was unfair to insult the state by calling it a "hub of lynching".
"Some people in the Rajya Sabha are calling Jharkhand a hub of lynching. Is this fair? Why are they insulting a state? None of us have the right to insult the state of Jharkhand," the prime minister said in his reply to Motion of Thanks on President's address in Rajya Sabha.
He added that violence whether in Jharkhand, West Bengal or Kerala should be dealt with equally.
Twenty-four-year-old Tabrez Ansari was thrashed by a mob for alleged theft on June 18 and a video had emerged which purportedly showed that he was forced to chant "Jai Shri Ram" and "Jai Hanuman" in Jharkhand's Saraikela Kharsawan district.
The Opposition latched onto the incident to attack the Modi government as the state is ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Reacting to the incident, Gandhi Tuesday had on Tuesday termed the alleged lynching a "blot on humanity" and said the "silence" of powerful voices in the BJP-ruled central and state governments over the incident is shocking.
"The brutal lynching of this young man by a mob in Jharkhand is a blot on humanity. The cruelty of the police who held this dying boy in custody for 4 days is shocking as is the silence of powerful voices in the BJP-ruled central and state governments," Gandhi tweeted, along with a still from the video of the incident.
The Congress president used the hashtag 'India Against Lynch Terror' with his tweet.
Eleven people have been arrested in connection with Ansari's death and a special investigation team (SIT) has been set up to look into the matter.
The incident has triggered angry reactions from various political parties across the country.
"Tabrez Ansari was lynched to death in BJP-ruled Jharkhand. A Hindu mob thrashed him ruthlessly because he refused to chant 'Jai Sri Ram'. Is this NDA 2.0's New India? Yeh kaunsa tareeka hai sabka vishwas jeetnay ka (what kind of a process is this to win everyone's trust?," Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said in a tweet.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief and Member of Parliament Asaduddin Owaisi said such incidents now followed a familiar pattern.
"This is the pattern with almost all lynchings. First, a Muslim is murdered by cow lovers. Then the most ridiculous excuses begin: a 'suspicion' of beef possession, theft, smuggling & love jihad. So much for sabka vishwas when we can be killed over mere 'suspicions'," he said in a tweet.
The incident also found mention in the Rajya Sabha, when senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said Jharkhand had become a "lynching factory".
"Dalits and Muslims are being killed there every week. Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, we are with you in the fight of 'sabka saath sabka vikas', but it should be there for people to see it. We cannot see it anywhere," he said.