NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent out a tough message against mob lynchings and cow vigilantism on Thursday, breaking his silence over the issue after widespread criticism. Protests — small and big — have erupted across the country that is witnessing a sudden spike in mob frenzy.
Shockingly, hours after the Prime Minister sent out the stern warning, news agencies reported that a man was beaten to death by a mob in Ramgarh district of Jharkhand for allegedly carrying “banned meat”.
“Alimuddin alias Asgar Ansari was stopped by mob that brutally attacked him. His van was set on fire, too,” agencies reported quoting local police sources.
Addressing a rally to mark the centenary of Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati ashram , Modi said “Killing people on the pretext of protecting cows is not acceptable.”
“Today, I want to express my sadness and my pain,” he said.
“This is a country which has the tradition of giving food to ants, street dogs, fish, the country where Mahatma Gandhi taught us lessons of non-violence. What has happened to us?” Modi asked.
“If a patient dies due to an unsuccessful operation, relatives burn down hospitals and beat up doctors. Accident is an accident. When people die or are injured in the accidents, a group of people come together and burn vehicles,” he said, pointing out the prevalent trend among the people of taking law into their hands, and the mob violence.
“Nobody would have practised cow protection and cow worship more than Mahatma Gandhi and Vinoba Bhave. They showed us the way how to protect cow. The country will have to adopt their way,” the Prime Minister said.
“The Indian Constitution also teaches us about cow protection. But does this give us any right to kill a person? Is this gau bhakti? Killing people in the name of gau bhakti is not acceptable. This is not something Mahatma Gandhi would have approved.”
The Prime Minister said no person in the nation has the right to take law into their own hands. “Violence has never solved and will never solve any problem. As a society, there is no place for violence.”
The Prime Minister’s remarks come a day after hundreds of people took to streets across several cities in the country.
The protest, called ‘not in my name’, was organised to unite against spiralling instances of mob lynchings, communal hatred and ‘Islamophobia’.