The RSS on Sunday described as “false and baseless” reports that it supported the lynching of a Muslim man in Uttar Pradesh over rumours that he ate beef.
As the media carried excerpts from an article in RSS Hindi journal “Panchjanya” virtually justifying the murder of Mohammad Akhlaq in Uttar Pradesh, the RSS said the magazine was not its mouthpiece.
“The report that RSS supports the Dadri incident is blatantly false and baseless,” a statement by RSS spokesman Manmohan Vaidya said, referring to the place where the gory murder took place on 28 September.
“RSS never supported any incident of violence.
“RSS has clearly stated about Dadri violence that a thorough inquiry should be conducted and the guilty should be punished,” he added.
Vaidya added that “Panchjanya” and its English counterpart “Organiser” were “not the mouthpiece of RSS. An official office bearer only speaks on behalf of RSS.”
Founded in 1925, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) is a Hindu revivalist group and is considered the ideological parent of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Vaidya’s statement follows the publication in mainstream media of a “Panchjanya” article that said that Islamic seminaries and Muslim leaders teach Indian Muslims to hate the country’s traditions.
It added that Akhlaq, who was dragged out of his house and lynched by a mob following rumours that he ate beef, “perhaps slaughtered a cow under the influence of … bad deeds”.
The magazine also justified the attack on Akhlaq, 50, by quoting Newton’s theory of “natural reaction to any action”.
The RSS denial also came on a day when BJP president Amit Shah, speaking on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, pulled up five BJP leaders for making controversial statements on beef consumption and the Muslim man’s murder.