A week after Union Civil Aviation Minister Jayant Sinha felicitated eight men convicted in a lynching case related to cow vigilantism in Jharkhand, Opposition members in Lok Sabha on Thursday raised slogans against him for the same as soon as he stood up to answer a question during the Monsoon Session of Parliament, according to PTI.
Sinha, however, had expressed regret saying, “Law will take its own course. Guilty will be punished & innocent will be spared. If by garlanding those men (Ramgarh lynching case convicts) an impression has gone out that I support such vigilantism then I express regret.”
Opposition members rushed to the Well demanding an apology from the minister when he rose to respond to a question on upgradation of airports during the Question Hour. They raised slogans such as “stop garlanding convicts”. He, however, continued speaking.
Union minister Nitin Gadkari, who was the senior-most member of the Union Cabinet present in the House, stood up briefly apparently urging opposition members to return to their seats. As Sinha finished speaking, opposition members withdrew from the Well.
On July 7, the Hazaribagh MP had sparked a controversy after pictures of him welcoming the convicts with garlands and sweets went viral on social media.
On June 29, 2017, Alimuddin Ansari was beaten to death in Ramgarh town of Jharkhand by a group of cow vigilantes. Subsequently, police arrested 12 people, one a juvenile. On March 21 this year, a fast track court in Ramgarh convicted them and later sentenced them to life.
On June 29, the Jharkhand High Court released eight of the accused on bail, citing “lack of evidence of specific assault” against them. While seven of the eight accused – Bajrang Dal member Santosh Singh, Rohit Thakur, Kapil Thakur, Uttam Ram, Raju Kumar Mahato, Vicky Sao and Sikander Ram – were released from the Jai Prakash Narain Central jail in Hazaribagh on July 4, the eighth accused, district BJP media cell incharge Nityanand Mahato, was released a day earlier.