New Delhi: Urging political parties not to isolate any evil or do politics over it, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the lynching of a Muslim youth in Jharkhand had “pained” him and that the guilty must be severely punished, but stressed all incidents of violence in the country, whether in Jharkhand, West Bengal or Kerala, must be treated the same way and the law should take its course.
Addressing the issue after the Opposition parties alleged that the “BJP and RSS have increased a sense of hatred against Muslims” and that the incident was a “blot on humanity”, the PM said the guilty should get the severest punishment, but the entire state should not be pronounced guilty and everyone put in the dock. Mr Modi also cited a couplet attributed to the legendary Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib, in an apparent reply to Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who claimed that Jharkhand had become a “lynching factory”, where he asked the Congress leader not to look at every incident through a political prism.
Mr Modi also addressed the deaths due to the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Bihar, describing it as a matter of “shame” and the “biggest failure” of seven decades that the outbreak of such diseases continues to kill even after so many years of Independence.
Replying to the debate in the Rajya Sabha on the motion of thanks to the President for his address, Mr Modi said: “The lynching in Jharkhand has pained me. It saddened others too. The guilty should get the severest punishment but the entire state has been pronounced guilty and everyone put in the dock, which is not right,” he said.
A Muslim youth, accused of stealing a motorcycle, was beaten up by a mob and a video showed he was made to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman” in the Saraikela Kharsawan district of Jharkhand. He later died.
The PM said some people in the Rajya Sabha were calling Jharkhand a hub of lynching. “Is this fair? Why are they insulting a state? None of us have the right to insult the state of Jharkhand.” Referring to the violence in states ruled by the Opposition parties, he said all kinds of violence, whether in Jharkhand, West Bengal or Kerala, should be treated as same and the law should take its course. He said by isolating an incident, one can do politics, but not development, and that laws and the Constitution were capable enough to deal with such incidents.
On the death of children in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar where the BJP and its ally JD(U) are in power, he said the Centre was extending all help to the state to fight the problem. “In modern times, such a situation is a matter of pain as well as shame for all of us,” he said. “This is the biggest failure in the last seven decades and we should all take it seriously.”