The anger over the lynching of a man on the rumour of possessing beef in the neighbouring Greater Noida reached Delhi on Friday as a massive protest vigil was organised at Jantar Mantar.
The protestors, who had chosen the 146th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, also expressed concern at the communal violence that took place in Sayed Nagar of Kalyanpur area in Kanpur last year.
It was a citizen’s protest vigil where people raised their voice against the spiralling communal killings and hate mongering.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, breaking silence over the issue, said on Friday that the people found guilty for killing 50-year-old Akhlaq would be punished. He said that “our religion and our country” allow people to live the way they want and respect their rights.
Yadav said, “A rumour does not have anything in it but a lot can happen because of it. Our Constitution is based on secularism. Our schemes are all based on this principle, but some forces want to vitiate the atmosphere.”
Targeting prime minister Narendra Modi, Yadav said that those who spoke against “pink revolution” should ban beef exports as they were now in power and alleged that the government wanted to disturb the “secular” ethos of the country by raising such issues.
In an apparent reference to Modi, who had in the run-up to last Lok Sabha elections attacked the then UPA government over meat export, saying it was encouraging ‘pink revolution’, Yadav said, “They want to rake up such issues. These forces talked about pink revolution. We will say today – you are in government now, so ban beef exports. You should build support for banning their export.”
Without naming Modi, Yadav said that those who are marketing the country abroad should also consider what kind of food is eaten by the people there. At a function in Lucknow, Yadav remarked, “The world where you are roaming, marketing and promoting your country, just think once what kind of food they eat from dawn to dusk. That’s why we should not interfere in each other’s way of life.”
This mudslinging between the BJP and the SP government in Uttar Pradesh comes in the wake of the killing of Akhlaq, 50, who was rumored to have kept beef in his house in Greater Noida. His 22-year-old son Danish was critically injured by a 200-strong mob which barged into their house on Monday night following rumours that the family had eaten beef and had stored it.