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.
Noor Ahmad is just 14. More astonishing is the fact that despite being so young, he lives far from his family. Noor Ahmad explains that “when one doesn't have much money at home, then one has to go to distant places to earn money”. At night, he eats out in an eatery. While discussing his inability to attend school, Noor Ahmad remarks that he is not able to read English.
Senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka has approached the Punjab and Haryana high court seeking quashing of an FIR registered in Panchkula under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Senior advocate RS Cheema is likely to appear for the IAS officer. The FIR was registered on the complaint of Haryana State Warehousing Corporation, managing director, Sanjeev Verma, on April 26 at Sector-5 police station in Panchkula. Verma, too, was booked on a complaint from Khemka.
Amid complaints of poor germination, ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute's regional centre in Karnal has recalled the seeds of Pusa Basmati 1509 variety of rice it sold to farmers. The quantity of seeds sold during this period was not disclosed, but it is said that it cost ₹80/kg. Officials have asked the farmers, who had bought the seeds during this period from here, to contact them by May 21 along with the receipt and seeds.
The Delhi Police on Monday said that they will seek the custody of the two businessmen who were running an industrial unit in a Mundka building where a devastating fire killed 27 people on Friday in order to question them along with the owner of the building. The Goyal brothers were arrested on Friday, and the owner, Manish Lakra was arrested on Sunday.
A day after 10 persons had jumped into Western Yamuna Canal in Buria region of Yamunanagar after allegedly being threatened by a rival group, a team of the national disaster response force (NDRF) on Monday recovered three bodies. The deceased were identified as Nikhil, Sahil and Suleman, while Allaudin and Sunny are still missing, superintendent of police Kamaldeep Goyal said. All of them were between 18 and 22 years of age and residents of Jagadhri.