A week after a mob in Dadri killed Mohammed Akhlaq over rumours of beef consumption, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), while calling it an “unfortunate incident”, asked states Monday to show “zero tolerance” and “take strictest action as per law” against “any attempt to weaken the secular fabric of the nation and/or exploiting religious emotions or sentiments”.
In a statement, the MHA said “while law and order is basically a state subject, the Ministry of Home Affairs has been concerned with various incidents with communal overtones across the country, including the recent unfortunate incident at Dadri, UP”.
“Consequently, the MHA has today issued an advisory to the state governments stating that there is zero tolerance for any attempt to weaken the secular fabric of the nation and/or exploiting religious emotions or sentiments. MHA has called on the states to take strictest action as per law against such elements without any exception whatsoever,” it stated.
“Earlier, on October 1, 2015, MHA had sought a report on the Dadri incident from the state government of UP, and advised the state government to ensure that such incidents do not recur again,” the MHA stated.
In Lucknow, the state government said it had sent a report to the MHA on the Dadri incident. Principal Secretary (Home) Debasish Panda said the report sent to MHA had details of the incident and the action taken so far by police.
In New Delhi, Union Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptulla, responding to queries from reporters on the Dadri incident, said: “An inquiry is on into the incident and the guilty will be punished as per law when the report comes in.”
Appealing against controversial statements, she dismissed criticism that the Prime Minister Modi had not yet spoken on the incident saying that Union Ministers speaking on the matter was the “voice of the Prime Minister”.
Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, while underlining the government’s commitment to development, said: “No destructive agenda will be allowed to dominate the agenda of development. That will not happen and we will not allow it. Be it our ministry or other departments of the government, we have only one commitment — that peace and prosperity should be maintained and development reaches even the last man in the queue.”
Jitendra Singh, Minister of State in PMO, said the NDA government had “done more for minorities in one year than was done in the last 68 years”.
“We have committed ourselves to empowerment of minorities with dignity. If one has to take care of minorities in real terms, there is no need to give them alms (khairaat), they need to be empowered with rights. Modi government’s commitment is empowerment of minorities with dignity,” he said.