NEW DELHI: Two days after a Muslim youth in Jharkhand died following a brutal assault by a mob last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Wednesday that the lynching had pained him and that those responsible should get stringent punishment under the law.
At the same time, he said all incidents of violence, irrespective of the state they took place in, should be treated in the same manner.
Speaking during the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address in the Rajya Sabha, Modi said it was the constitutional duty of the government to protect every citizen and everything under the law would be done to punish the guilty.
“I am pained and those responsible will get stringent punishment but it is wrong on the part of the opposition to call Jharkhand a hub of lynching as that is akin to insulting all the people in the state. All kinds of violence, whether in Jharkhand or West Bengal or Kerala, should be treated as same and law should take its course,” Modi said.
The BJP has accused the ruling Trinamool government in West Bengal and the CPI(M) workers in Kerala of violent attacks on its cadres.
The PM’s statement came after opposition criticism over the lynching in BJP-ruled Jharkhand. The Congress, however, said the lynching cannot be compared with political violence in states and that it was an effort by Modi to mislead the nation.
In the Lok Sabha, too, BJP and Trinamool sparred over political violence in Bengal and Jharkhand lynching. While Trinamool MP Saugata Roy said the lynching was an “example of religious intolerance”, BJP’s Locket Chatterjee blamed the Bengal government for BJP workers’ killing.
The PM also launched a scathing attack on the Opposition for having an “obstructionist and negative attitude” for which the people had punished them, he said.
Targeting the Congress for saying the BJP had won the election but the country has lost, the PM said it was the party’s arrogance that it was unable to accept the mandate and was insulting the voters. He said that rather than accepting its mistakes, the Opposition was blaming the EVMs.