PM’s statements on mob violence lack conviction: Harsh Mander
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the authority to control mob violence, but making general statements once every few months does not carry conviction, said noted activist Harsh Mander.
He was talking to HT on the sidelines of a press conference held on Friday to mark the arrival of ‘Karwan-e-Mohabbat’ (journey of love) in Jaipur. Civil society members and human rights activists have embarked on a nationwide journey to express solidarity with victims of mob lynching.
So-called cow protectors have targeted cattle and meat traders -- violence that has killed several people. On April 1, Pehlu Khan was beaten up by a mob near Alwar when he was transporting cows for his dairy farm; he died after two days of the attack.
“We can accuse our prime minister of many things but we can’t accuse him of weakness. If he really is convinced that this kind of mob violence is wrong, he has the authority and he has the competence to control it,” Mander said.
“Just making a general statement once in six months while all your official colleagues – union ministers, MPs, MLAs, and (state) home ministers on the floor of the House – continue to justify and support mob violence and police continue to act in partisan way, carries no conviction that the government actually is opposed to this violence.”
Mander said India Spend survey of reported cases of lynching post 2010 revealed that 97% of them happened after Modi’s government came to power, and 86% people killed were Muslims and 8% Dalits.
“We are seeing a pattern where political leadership has created a permissive climate for hate violence. There was always hate, but they couldn’t act upon it but now they have freedom to act,” he said.
Members of the civil rights group decried that Rajasthan was the only state where the caravan was attacked. “The attack could not have happened if the police was not soft in its response. There is continuous appeasement of communal majoritarian community,” Mander said.
The ‘journey of love’, traversing Assam, Bengal, Bihar, UP, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and MP, will conclude at Mahatma Gandhi’s birthplace, Porbandar, in Gujarat on October 2, said civil rights activist Kavita Shrivastava.
“We think there is a dangerous poison of fear and hate spreading in society. We have heard of a few cases but we have come to know that such incidents have taken place in many states,” she said.
“Without any reason, innocent people are being beaten up, sometimes killed. So we want to give a message to the minority and Dalits who are fearful. The other objective is to send a message that the majority community cannot stay silent. We have to break our silence.”
Activist John Dayal said today one could see that the dice was loaded against the Muslims.
Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde rushed to check on a woman constable from Thane Police Commissionerate who fell unconscious while on duty outside the Thane Collector office on Wednesday. Shinde, who saw the woman fainting, immediately stopped, offered her water, chair and asked his team to admit her in a hospital. When the CM was heading out after the meeting, there was a huge crowd outside the conference hall.
A communal clash that broke out in Karnataka's Kerur was due to 'personal issues' between the two sides, chief minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Thursday, a day after violence erupted in the town over alleged eve-teasing. The situation in Kerur continues to be peaceful but tense, and a total of 18 people – from both the Hindu and Muslim communities – have been arrested. Overall, at least four people were injured in the clashes.
In a tragic incident, three people working in a chowmein factory in Gajapati district of Odisha died of asphyxiation on Wednesday night after they went to sleep while keeping the chowmein dryer machine turned on. Police officials in Gajapati said the three workers in the chowmein factory at Narayan Nagar of Mohana area had gone to sleep after putting the soggy chowmein noodles to dry in the chowmein dryer machine.
The Hebbal flyover in Bengaluru - known for its traffic congestion - has finally been picked up by city authorities, who have come out with a fresh set of rules. The advisory was announced by the Bangalore Traffic Police. The same goes for vehicles coming from KR Puram, Road and Tumakuru Road. Vehicles traveling on the airport road flyover can join the Hebbal flyover as usual.
Looking dapper in a mustard kurta-pyjama and Nehru jacket with a matching golden yellow turban, Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann was all smiles as Aam Aadmi Party leaders Arvind Kejriwal and MP Raghav Chadha arrived to attend his wedding to Dr Gurpreet Kaur at a private ceremony at his official residence in Chandigarh on Thursday morning. A van carrying Guru Granth Sahib arrived around 10am amid tight security around the chief minister's residence.