New Delhi: Eight days after a mob lynched a Muslim man following rumours that he ate beef, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday warned that threats to the country’s secular fabric won’t be tolerated.
And in New York, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told NDTV that such incidents affect the country’s image and “amount to policy diversions”.
On September 28 in a village in Greater Noida, near the national capital, a mob dragged Mohammed Akhlaq, 50, out of his home and lynched him saying he ate beef. His family denied the allegation. His 21-year-old son Danish was left critically injured. He is recuperating in hospital.
The home ministry had on Monday expressed concern over incidents with communal overtones, and directed state governments to act strictly against elements seeking to exploit religious sentiments.
Rajnath Singh, responding to questions on the sidelines of a function here, said his ministry would look into the Uttar Pradesh government’s report on the lynching.
“Any threat to the secular fabric of the country will not be tolerated. It is the duty of every citizen to maintain social harmony and I appeal to people to uphold this,” Singh said.
Jaitley said in the US: “India is a mature society. We have to rise above these incidents because they certainly don’t bring a good name as far as the country is concerned.
“And I have also said that they can amount to policy diversions.” He said it was the duty of every Indian, “in his actions or comments, to stay clear of unfortunate or condemnable incidents of this kind”.
Meanwhile, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi opposed Uttar Pradesh minister and Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan’s move to take the lynching incident to the United Nations.
He said in Hyderabad that if Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav supports Khan’s move, the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh should resign and President’s Rule should be imposed.
The Hyderabad MP said the incident was an internal matter of India and Muslims can never fight against their own country.
Reacting to Jaitley’s statement that Dadri like incidents hurt India’s image, he said the question was not of image but of “our morals and moral duty”.
The Aam Aadmi Party meanwhile asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to end his silence over the murder.
AAP leader Ashutosh slammed Modi and also sought action against Bharatiya Janata Party leaders for their “provocative” remarks related to the incident.
“Today is the eighth day of the Dadri incident, the prime minister has not spoken. Nation does not know what he feels and is he against such incidents?” he tweeted.
The AAP leader said no religion can have the permission to shatter the nation’s trust.