Amid the outrage over the killing of a man on suspicions of cow smuggling in Rajasthan, Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal appeared to make a bizarre link on Saturday between Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity, elections and cases of mob killings.
“The more popular Modi Ji becomes, the more such incidents will happen. During Bihar elections, it was ‘award wapsi’; in Uttar Pradesh, it was mob lynching. For 2019 elections, it will be something else. PM Modi gave several schemes, their effects can be seen, this (lynching) incident is just one reaction to it,” he said.
Akbar Khan, also known as Rakbar, was killed in Rajasthan’s Alwar district where a dairy owner, Pehlu Khan was murdered by a mob that accused him of smuggling cows for slaughter. Akbar Khan, 28, and his friend Aslam faced the same accusation when they were walking home in Haryana’s Mewat with the two cows on Friday night.
Meghwal also termed the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 as the “biggest case of mob lynching” in India. “We condemn mob lynching but this isn’t a single incident. You have to trace this back in history. Why does this happen? Who should stop this? What happened with Sikhs in 1984 was the biggest mob lynching of this nation’s history,” he told reporters in Jaipur.
The Congress shot back. “Is this how you will protect people those who continue with such hate crimes in the belief that the government will continue to support them,” said Priyanka Chaturvedi of the Congress, underlining that it is the government’s past inaction that has emboldened such people to take law and order in their hand.
BJP bigwigs in Rajasthan, which goes to polls later this year, were quick to condemn the murder that took place hours before party chief Amit Shah landed in Jaipur to address the concluding session of the party’s state working committee meeting.