Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said any threat to the secular fabric of the country would not be tolerated, calling upon citizens to maintain social harmony.
Responding to questions on the lynching of a Muslim man in a village in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri district over suspicion of having eaten and stored beef, Rajnath Singh said his ministry would look into the state government’s report about the incident.
“Any threat to the secular fabric of the country will not be tolerated. It is the duty of every citizen to maintain social harmony and I appeal to the people to uphold this,” Singh said.
He was at a function to mark the 80th birth anniversary of late farmer leader Mahendra Singh Tikait in New Delhi.
Reports say that the home ministry has received a report from the Uttar Pradesh government on the incident.
On 28 September, Mohammed Akhlaq, 50, a resident of Bisara village, near Delhi, was dragged out of his home and lynched following a rumour that he had eaten beef. His family denied the allegations.
Akhlaq’s 22-year-old son Danish was also critically injured in the attack by the mob. He is now being treated in a Noida hospital.
The home ministry had expressed concern over incidents having communal overtones, including the Dadri incident, and directed state governments to act strictly against elements seeking to exploit religious sentiments.
Asked about the violence that erupted in Varanasi on Monday during a march of saints and Hindu religious groups to protest against baton charge and ban on immersion of idols in the Ganga, Singh termed it as “very unfortunate”.
“Law and order is a state subject. I have spoken to the concerned authorities in Uttar Pradesh in this connection and they have assured me that they were trying their best to normalise the situation,” Singh said.
Varanasi is the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Curfew was clamped in four police station areas in Varanasi and was lifted by Monday midnight.
At least 26 people have been arrested for involvement in the violence that left over 50 people injured, including a magistrate and a circle officer.