Lucknow: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the recent lynching of a 24-year-old youth in Jharkhand, asking why such incidents took place in states ruled by the saffron party.
Taking to Twitter, Mayawati said: “Why does the BJP let all these communally disturbing crimes in the states which are ruled by them. Such incidents do not only bring the entire state to shame but also bring a bad name to the country. Such incidents also force our PM to be ashamed. However, now police officers and government officers are also prone to this menace.”
Earlier on Wednesday, hundreds of people gathered at Clock Tower in Hussainabad area of Old Lucknow to protest against the lynching of 24-year-old Tabrez Ansari in Jharkhand. Several organisations and people displayed placards and raised slogans against mob lynchings.
There was heavy police presence in the area but the protests, which started with sloganeering, culminated with a candle march by the locals of Lucknow.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing Parliament on Wednesday, said he was “pained” by incident but 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,” Modi said in his reply to the Motion of Thanks on President's address. He added that violence should be dealt with equally whether in Jharkhand, West Bengal or Kerala.
Ansari was thrashed by a mob for alleged theft on June 18 and a video later emerged, which 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, with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday terming it a “blot on humanity”. He added that the “silence of powerful voices” in the BJP-ruled central and state governments over the incident was shocking.
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?” People’s 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 have now followed a familiar pattern.