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Opposition demands Rajnath’s statement on Alwar lynching

IANS | New Delhi |

There was ruckus in the Rajya Sabha on Friday over cow vigilantes lynching a Muslim man in Rajasthan's Alwar last week. Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad demanded a statement from Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the issue.

Raising the issue, Azad said the government was "undermining the Rajya Sabha".

Referring to a statement on Thursday by Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, wherein he had dismissed the incident as "did not happen", Azad said: "The Minister misled the house."

The Congress leader said the government was making different statements on the matter in the two houses of Parliament.

"Home Minister Rajnath Singh admitted in Lok Sabha on Thursday that incident happened whereas the Minister (Naqvi) said that it didn't," he said.

He also raised doubt over the intention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on dealing with these self-styled 'gau rakshaks'.

"He (Modi) criticised them using very strong words but it seems the Bharatiya Janata Party has told them to do whatever they wanted to," Azad said.

He was supported by other opposition members, who approached the Chairman's podium and there was noisy scene for the second day in a row, seeking the minister's apology.

On this, Naqvi, who also is the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, said that the Home Minister will make a statement on the issue in the house on Monday.

Earlier on Friday, Naqvi said the alleged lynching of a man in Rajasthan by cow vigilantes should not be viewed from a religious point of view as "criminals are just criminals".

"A criminal, a murderer, a hooligan should not be looked at as a Hindu or a Muslim. A criminal is a criminal," Naqvi told the House.

"One gets 14-day remand for slapping. But in this Rajasthan case, the accused was freed after a day. This government should take this house seriously," Azad said.

"This is undermining the position of the Rajya Sabha. Since the Alwar issue was raised yesterday (Thursday), the Home Minister should have come today (Friday)."

The lynching incident occurred on Saturday when a group of self-styled cow vigilantes allegedly attacked dairy farmer Pehlu Khan in Behror area of Alwar. 

Khan, hailing from Haryana, was travelling in a truck with two cows and two calves. 

The attackers accused Khan of illegally smuggling cows for slaughter. However, his family said he had bought the animals for his small dairy business.