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NEW DELHI, June 26: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the death of a 24-year-old man who was mercilessly thrashed by a mob in Jharkhand last week has “pained” him, but it is unfair to insult the state – which is ruled by the BJP – by calling it a “hub of lynching”.
“Some people in the Rajya Sabha are 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,” the prime minister said in his reply to Motion of Thanks on President’s address in the upper house of Parliament.
PM Modi said whether it is Jharkhand, or West Bengal or Kerala, incidents of violence should be treated in the same manner and perpetrators of violence get a lesson that the entire country is one on this issue.
The PM’s comment on the mob lynching comes a day after Congress president Rahul Gandhi said he was shocked by the “silence of the powerful voices in the BJP-ruled central and state governments”.
“The brutal lynching of this young man by a mob in Jharkhand is a blot on humanity. The cruelty of the police who held this dying boy in custody for 4 days is shocking as is the silence of powerful voices in the BJP ruled Central & State Govts. (sic)” Mr Gandhi had tweeted on Tuesday evening.
The death caused ripples in parliament on Monday, with senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad saying that they did not want a New India. “Please give us back the Old India.. There was no violence, no lynching… Give us that India where all religions are equal,” he said amid applause from opposition members.
The victim, Tabrez Ansari, was thrashed by a mob in Jharkhand’s Saraikela Kharsawan district last Tuesday for alleged theft. A video that had emerged after the thrashing showed he was forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”.
Four days later, Tabrez Ansari was declared “brought dead” by doctors at the Tata Main Hospital in Jamshedpur.
Shahista Parveen, Tabrez Ansari’s wife, said: “He was mercilessly beaten as he was Muslim. I don’t have anybody, no in-laws. My husband was my only support. I want justice”.
Eleven men were arrested in the case on Monday. The Jharkhand police are also focusing on the role of their colleagues and a doctor involved in the case. A Special Investigation Team has been formed and two police officers have been suspended for lapses. There is also indication of an attempted cover-up, as the dying declaration of Tabrez Ansari has been tweaked to remove all references to the beating, reports said.
(ndtv With inputs from PTI)