Even as Union minister Jayant Sinha defended himself after photos of him ‘felicitating’ Ramgarh lynching convicts went viral, he came under severe criticism from the opposition as well as human rights activists even though BJP remained mum on the incident.
Calling the incident “despicable”, former Jharkhand chief minister and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Hemant Soren also tagged Sinha’s alma mater, the Harvard University, along with a news report of the related incident.
“This is despicable. Your alumnus Jayant Sinha felicitating the accused in cow related lynching death in India. Is this what Harvard stands for,” Soren asked. The former CM also told a media organisation that Sinha’s act was absolutely unbecoming of a union minister as it was a sensitive issue.
— Hemant Soren (@HemantSorenJMM) July 6, 2018
Jharkhand Congress president Ajoy Kumar said Sinha, considered “among the most educated minister in PM Modi’s cabinet”, “openly” supporting people convicted for killing an innocent was shocking. “Do they have no work to show except playing politics on dead bodies and dividing society?” Kumar said in a scathing attack on BJP.
Condemning the politics of hate, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said BJP’s ideology was tearing the social fabric of the nation apart. “We don’t need to look far to see who or which ideology is tearing our social fabric apart: when union ministers patronise those convicted of lynching,” the CPI(M) general secretary tweeted.
— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) July 6, 2018
Controversy erupted on Friday after photos of Sinha felicitating eight men convicted for the lynching of cattle trader Alimuddin Ansari on June 29 last year went viral. On Saturday, the Hazaribagh MP condemned all acts of violence and vigilantism, saying those responsible should be punished with the “full force of the law”.
“I unequivocally condemn all acts of violence and reject any type of vigilantism. The rule of law is supreme in our constitutional democracy,” Sinha tweeted. “Unfortunately, irresponsible statements are being made about my actions when all that I am doing is honoring the due process of law. Those that are innocent will be spared and the guilty will be appropriately punished,” he added.