Facing criticism for hosting and felicitating six people convicted in the Alimuddin Ansari lynching case, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation and Hazaribagh MP Jayant Sinha on Wednesday said that he regretted the act — if it has given an impression that he supports vigilantism, PTI reported on Wednesday.
Sinha, who was in Ranchi to attend party engagements in the wake of BJP president Amit Shah’s one-day visit to Jharkhand, told news agency ANI and a couple of other Hindi news channels, “Maine kai baar kaha hai ki maamla sub judice hai aur is vishay par lambi baat karna sahi nahin hoga (I have said many times that the matter is sub judice and talking about it at length is not correct).”
He said, “…Sabko nyay milega aur hardam humari koshish yahee rahee hai ki jo doshi hai unko saza mile aur jo nirdosh hain unhen nyay mile (Everyone will get justice and it has been my endeavour that the guilty should be punished, and the innocent justice).”
Referring to the felicitation episode, Sinha told ANI: “Aur agar maala pehnaane se ek impression gaya hai ki main vigilantism ko samarthan de raha hoon uske liye mujhe khed hai, bahut dukh hai. Maine to ye kaha hee hai (If by garlanding them an impression has gone out that I support vigilantism, then I regret it, I am very sad about it. I have always maintained that.)”
Sinha had met the men on their release on bail on July 4.
Earlier, in a series of tweets, Sinha had sought to defend the felicitation episode, saying: “Unfortunately, irresponsible statements are being made about my actions when all that I am doing is honouring the due process of law…”
He had also tweeted saying that he had already expressed his misgivings about the judgment of the fast-track court — which had sentenced 11 people, including a district BJP leader and a couple of Bajrang Dal members, to life imprisonment on March 21.
They were given bail by the Jharkhand High Court on June 29.
Alimuddin Ansari was lynched by a mob on June 29, 2017 after beef was allegedly found in the vehicle he was in.