A week after he felicitated eight men convicted in a lynching case related to cow vigilantism in Jharkhand, Union Minister Jayant Sinha expressed regret for the incident on Wednesday, even as he reiterated that the guilty will be punished. The Union Minister had come under severe condemnation from the opposition due to his actions.
“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,” Sinha was quoted as saying by ANI.
Sinha had stirred controversy after he felicitated eight convicts in the Ramgarh lynching case when they were released on bail last week. Meat trader Alimuddin Ansari was beaten to death on June 29 last year by a mob at the Bazaar Tand area on the suspicion that he was carrying beef in his car.
However, after facing flak from several quarters, Sinha had said he “unequivocally condemns all acts of violence and rejects any type of vigilantism” and is committed to “honouring the due process of law”.
Sinha’s act came at a point when the nation has been witnessing a spate of mob lynchings. In the past one year, 27 people have been killed in 15 cases of lynchings by mobs blinded by viral rumours of child-kidnappers on the prowl across nine states — from Assam to Tamil Nadu.
While demanding Sinha’s resignation, Congress claimed his action had reinforced the belief that BJP tacitly supported those accused and convicted in such crimes.