Caught in the middle of a massive controversy, Union Minister Jayant Sinha on Wednesday expressed regret over his garlanding Ramgarh lynching case convicts and said that the law will take its course. Speaking to ANI, Sinha said, “I have earlier also said that law will take its own course. Guilty will be punished and innocent will be spared. If by garlanding those men (Ramgarh lynching case convicts) an impression has gone out that I support such vigilantism then I express regret.”
A huge controversy broke out after the BJP minister and Hazaribagh MP felicitated eight men convicted by a local court for the brutal lynching of cattle trader Alimuddin Ansari on June 29 last year after they were released on bail. The eight out of 11 men convicted in the 2017 lynching case were taken straight to the Union Minister’s residence in Hazaribagh, where Sinha welcomed them. A photograph of the minister with the men dated July 6, 2018, went viral on social media triggering a tussle within the party.
The victim, Alimuddin Ansari, was beaten to death by a mob over carrying beef in his vehicle near Bazartand village.
On July 7, the Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation said that Ranchi High court has released them on bail. In a tweet, Sinha said, “In the Ramgarh case (mob lynching), the Ranchi High Court, which is the first court of appeal, has suspended the sentence of the accused and released them on bail while admitting their case. The case will once again be re-heard.”
Sinha further added that he has full faith in judiciary. “I have full faith in our judiciary and rule of law.” He further said, “Unfortunately, irresponsible statements are being made about my actions when all that I am doing is honoring due process of law. Those that are innocent will be spared and guilty will be appropriately punished.”
The Union Minister also said, “I have repeatedly expressed my misgivings about the Fast-Track Court judgement sentencing each accused to life imprisonment. I am pleased that the Hon’ble High Court will hear the matter as a statutory court of appeal to test the correctness of the Fast-Track Court order.”
On July 3, the Supreme court had stated that mob lynching is ‘beyond law and order problem’. The top court also noted, “Nobody can take law into their own hands. It is the obligation of the states to see these incidents are prevented.” Last year, the top court had asked all the state governments and union territories to take strict steps to end the violence in the name of cow protection.