The government today reiterated that it will show no sympathy to those indulging in lynchings in the name of cow and asked all state governments to take stern action against self-styled cow vigilantes.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, speaking on behalf of ailing Home Minister Rajnath Singh, told the Rajya Sabha, “The government’s stand is clear. Nobody is allowed to do that (lynching in the name of cow protection). There is no rationalisation, no arguments of sentiments being hurt can be an explanation for this. And, the government is absolutely committed.”
Jaitley was participating in the debate on ‘situation arising out of the reported increase in the incidents of lynching and atrocities on minorities and Dalits across the country.’ During the debate, several Opposition leaders had slammed the government and particularly targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over such incidents.
“Violence can never be a partisan issue and can’t be justified,” said Jaitley, who is also the leader of the House. He stressed that the Prime Minister has spoken thrice on the issue.
“…legal action was taken systematically in each incident. People were arrested and they are in jail. They are all going to be chargesheeted against whom evidence is going to be found… This is clear and there is no ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’,” the finance minister said countering the Opposition’s charge that the accused were not being prosecuted.
Jaitley said cow slaughter bans have been in place in various states from the time of the country’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and are enshrined in article 48 of the Constitution framed by the Constituent Assembly. Later, it was made part of 7th Schedule of the Constitution as a result of which the matter fell under the purview of the state governments.
“At that time, neither the BJP was in place, nor was any state ruled by the BJP,” he said.
“We have laws in place and if any such incident occurs where police is not acting and brought to our notice to this effect, the government will not think twice of requesting state governments and advising the state governments and even asking for reports as well as states are concerned,” he added.