The Opposition alleged that the ‘army of hooligans’ are disturbing the peace and tranquility of the country in the name of cow protection. The Government condemned mob lynching, but accused the Opposition of falling prey to selective amnesia.
Shiromani Akali Dal’s Naresh Gujral condemned the ‘barbaric activities’ and called for ‘expeditious punishments’ for such crimes.
Blaming the slow speed of investigative and judicial process, Gujral said,”All of us sitting here should refrain from blame game and do some introspection…Prime Minister has spoken very forcefully against it and I hope the law enforcement agencies are taking note,”
Congress’ Kapl Sibal challenged the cow vigilantes to guard Indian borders instead of killing innocent people in the name of cow protection.
Sibal went on to accuse the VHP and the Bajrang Dal of recruiting and training the ‘religious soldiers’ who are involved in lynchings.
Sharad Yadav of the JD(U) accused the Government of razing the rural economy due to cattle regulation.
D Raja of the CPI claimed that there was rise of fascism in the country and TKS Elangovan of the DMK slammed the Government for violence in the name of cow protection.
“Is it not shameful…All of have collectively failed to ensure the constitutional rights to our own fellow citizens and our own fellow human beings,” said Raja.
Nominated member KTS Tulsi alleged that the mob lynching represents communal crime while another nominated member, Rajeev Chandrasekhar contended that religious beliefs of all the communities should be respected.
HRD Minister, Prakash Javadekar condemned mob lynching but also rubbished all claims of the Opposition parties. He drew parallels between mob lynching and 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
Condemning all incidents of lynching, Javadekar accused the Opposition of ‘selective amnesia’.
He accused the Opposition of bringing a bad name to India by citing mob lynchings.
At this point, Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad along with the Opposition members staged a walk out.
Leader of the House Arun Jaitley in his reply to the discussion, unequivocally condemned the incidents of mob lynching.
He stated that the mob killings should not be politicised. He also said violence cannot be a partisan issue.
On day one of the debate on Wednesday, the Opposition alleged that the perpetrators of violence were given a free hand, but the government urged the Opposition to refrain from giving a religious colour to such incidents.
Leading the Opposition charge against the Government on the recent mob lynching, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad claimed that members of the ruling party were involved in the violence in the name of cow protection.
“I’m not saying that there were no incidents of lynching earlier. Earlier lynching was mostly done by one individual…But these days, in the incidents of lynching there is involvement of the ruling party or the Sangh Parivar,” alleged Azad while listing out various incident of mob lynchings.
He alleged that the Opposition feels that the government has given a free hand to the cow vigilantes despite their public statements condemning such incidents.
Naresh Aggarwal of the Samajwadi Party contended that cattle transporting business suffered a debilitating blow by cow vigilantism.
Left Front’s Sitaram Yechury demanded a stern action by the Centre against the ‘private armies’ wreaking havoc in the name of cow protection.
“We need a central order to ban private armies who are taking law into their own hands…we immediately ask for a ban on these vigilante groups of all natures,” said CPM leader Sitaram Yechury.
To counter the Opposition’s allegations, MoS Parliamentary Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi slammed the Opposition for targeting the government. Naqvi counter-alleged that the Opposition came up with the allegations because it failed to find fault with the government’s work on development. Naqvi also said that the Opposition was giving individual crimes a colour of communalism.
“The Opposition is trying to divert the Goverment’s agenda and give it a bad name…They are hatching a conspiracy against us,” Naqvi alleged.
He also countered the charge that no action was taken against the perpetrators involved in the lynching incidents.
The issue of cow vigilantism also resonated during the Question Hour on Wednesday.
Noisy scenes erupted after MoS Home Affairs, Hansram Gangaram Ahir told the House that the states have all the powers to deal with incidents of mob lynchings and there was no need to change the existing law.
Dissatisfied with the government’s reply, Samamjwadi Party MPs raised slogans and created an uproar and the House had to be adjourned for ten minutes.