Even a casual glance at the numbers and details about lynchings in the country show the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s direct support to the murderers of Muslims ever since Narendra Modi became Prime Minister.
On 8 October 2016, during the funeral of Akhlaq lynching accused Ravin Sisodia, the murderer’s body was draped in the tricolour and he was projected as a martyr by people of his native village, who were even joined by Union Minister Mahesh Sharma. If this was not a clear enough endorsement of the violence and terrorism unleashed in the name of cow under the Modi government, 15 of those accused of lynching Akhlaq in Dadri were given contractual jobs with NTPC Limited.
Most recently, Union Minister Jayant Sinha, who is the MP from Hazaribagh and the son of rebel BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, held an event at his residence where he welcomed with garlands and felicitated eight men convicted in the Alimuddin lynching case in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh after they were released on bail on 5 July.
Alimuddin, a 45-year-old Muslim meat trader, was dragged out of his car and beaten to death by a mob that suspected him of carrying beef. Precisely a year after the horrific incident, Jharkhand High Court on 29 June suspended the life sentence given to the eight convicts, including BJP functionary Nityanand Mahto.
A division bench of Justices HC Mishra and BB Mangalmurti granted bail to Nityanand Mahto, Vicky Saw, Sikandar Ram, Santosh Singh, Uttam Ram, Raju Kumar, Kapil Thakur and Rohit Thakur on 5 July. All the accused were convicted for their offences under Sections 147, 148, 427 / 149, 435 / 149, and 302 / 149 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Speaking to Newsclick, informant lawyer Raju Hembram, who was assisting the prosecution in the case, said, “This is a clear-cut message that lawmakers of the BJP themselves violate the rules and support only the party workers. Jayant Sinha is not able to see who deserves justice. The accused are associated with his party, that’s why he assisting them. How will common people hope for any justice from such leaders?”
CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat told Newsclick that it was horrible and outrageous that the BJP minister, a Union Minister, was openly patronising murderers when it is incumbent on the government to ensure justice for those who had been lynched and their families.
Not only was this morally and ethically wrong, Karat said, but that the Union Minister was trying to subvert the process of the government, which should appeal against the High Court’s bail order and apologise for the comments he has made.
Jayant Sinha has already sent a message that the government would not appeal against the High Court’s order, she said.
Not long ago, BJP leader Lal Singh along with his supporters had extended support to the Kathua rape accused by organising a mass rally in Jammu.
And one cannot forget how the Right-wing was supporting and seeking donations for Shambhu Bhawani Raigar, the key accused in the Afrazul murder case in Rajasamand district of Rajasthan.
Afrazul, a migrant labourer from West Bengal’s Malda, was hacked and then burnt alive in Rajsamand district on 14 December 2017. The chilling video of the gruesome incident went viral on social media platforms.
As for Jayant Sinha, after controversy erupted and he was slammed by many political leaders, the minister took to Twitter to defend himself and said he was honouring the due process of law.
The question is, how long will this unabashed patronage of the murderers of the minority community members continue under the central government that is supposed to protect the citizens of the country?