Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday suggested to the states that a “strict law, if needed” should be framed by them to stop mob lynching incidents and assured them of providing all support to fight with the menace happening in the country. He also hit out at the Congress, terming the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as the “biggest” such incident after Independence. Condemning these rumour mongering incidents for the second consecutive day, the minister, in his speech during the debate on the no-confidence vote in Lok Sabha, said such incidents should not happen.
Rajnath Singh said law and order was a state subject, but the Centre would provide whatever assistance required, while calling on state governments to take stringent steps to curb lynchings. “I had spoken over the issue yesterday (Thursday) too. I had asked to take stern action against mob lynching incidents. I had also assured that the Central government would provide all support to stop such incidents. And, I want to tell the state governments too that strict law, if needed, should be made to stop these incidents,” he said.
Several people have been lynched by mobs in the last few months on the basis of rumours or fake news that they were child lifters. Earlier, people have been attacked and murdered on allegations of cow slaughter and possessing beef, banned by the law. Countering opposition attack on the BJP-led government over the issue, Rajnath Singh also hit out at the Congress, which be blamed for the 1984 riots but “now, those people are teaching us the lessons on mob lynching incidents”. He also assured the Sikh community that an SIT (Special Investigating Team) was working on the issue and he would “surely provide justice” to them.
Rajnath Singh for the first time on Thursday had admitted in the Lok Sabha that fake news on social media has resulted in many mob lynching incidents in the country and said the government has asked service providers to put a check on rumour mongering on social media. Not satisfied with his response, the opposition walked out.
On the no-confidence motion, Rajnath Singh said the opposition parties did not have confidence among themselves and they were in doubt over who would be their leader and what would their policies be. “Against whom are you bringing no-confidence? The appeal of the prime minister is such that several people gave up the gas subsidy after he urged them do so. They (the opposition) do not trust each other. And when it comes to talking about the leadership, then ‘gayi bhains paani mein’ (they lose their steam),” he said.
Expressing displeasure for introducing the no-confidence motion despite numbers favouring the government, Rajnath Singh said the BJP never thought of doing so while it was in opposition from 2004-2014 as it was convinced that Manmohan Singh was safe. Hitting out at Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s ‘Hindu Pakistan’ remark, the senior BJP leader asked: “Where do they (Congress) want to take the country and what does they want India to become.”
Terming India the only country where minorities are prospering, he asked: “Do they not want such an India?” Giving example of opening of 120 mobile factories, the minister said that India has now been the most attractive place for the industrialists across the world today.