Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan said on Wednesday he is determined to take the lynching of a man in Bisada over rumours that he slaughtered a cow to the United Nations despite widespread criticism from political parties.
Khan’s remarks came against the backdrop of leaders of political parties such as the Congress, Samajwadi Party and Shiv Sena stepping up their war of words over the killing of 55-year-old Mohammad Ikhlaq by a mob on September 28.
The minority welfare minister of Uttar Pradesh said his decision to approach the United Nations was linked to the war against wrong and not about Hindus and Muslims.
“India is a member of the UN and we cannot live in isolation. I do not understand why there is a commotion over this. If you are not guilty of anything, then what are you worried of? I will do whatever I can to ensure justice is given and will not back down now,” Khan told ANI in Lucknow.
He expressed displeasure at Prime Minister Modi describing India as a land of thieves and corrupt people, saying this was insulting to Indians everywhere.
“People at the UN must be laughing and wondering where PM Modi is leading the country. What are Muslims in this country supposed to do now? Leave the nation? And where are they supposed to go? Fascism is bubbling,” he said.
Shrugging off attacks on him by political parties, Khan said he was only concerned with justice. “I have been receiving steady death threats but that has not deterred me. I will put forth the issue of the voiceless at the UN...The world needs to know what the RSS is trying to do,” he added.
But parties across the political spectrum criticised Khan, with the Congress accusing him of indulging in drama while the Shiv Sena demanded his sacking.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi targeted Khan for writing to the UN on “communal incidents”, saying he should not resort to such theatrics as India has adequate means to address issues like the lynching in Bisada.
“Whatever redress we need is from within India. We have enough forums for that redress, we are a proud democracy with functioning institutions, unlike our neighbours. I think all of us should withdraw from this ‘drame baazi’ of writing to international agencies when we have the adequate means of redressing them from within,” Singhvi told ANI.
The Shiv Sena criticised Khan’s decision to write to the UN Secretary-General and demanded his ouster from all constitutional posts.
“If (Samajwadi Party chief) Mulayam Singh Yadav has any patriotism left in him, he will kick Azam Khan out from all posts and make him sit at home. (Khan) has committed all sort of crimes...But now, this man has shredded the country’s respect into pieces at a global level,” the Sena said in an edit in its mouthpiece “Saamna”.
“A ruckus has been created on the questionable death of a man in Dadri. People are criticising the BJP when investigation into the incident is yet to be completed,” it said.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the lynching in Bisada, saying politicians are involved in fomenting unrest and creating communal tension under his nose.
“Our Prime Minister, while travelling across the world raised his slogan of ‘sabka saath sabka vikas’. He said there is no place of communalism in the country and now such an appalling incident is coming into light in Dadri, where a man was brutally lynched just based on the rumours that he had eaten and stored beef in his house. Why is Prime Minister Modi silent when leaders are involved in fomenting unrest and creating communal tension,” Azmi said.