Just when the Centre’s Narendra Modi government pretended to be serious on stopping the menace of mob lynching, one of the senior cabinet colleagues of the prime minister has stunned everyone by choosing to personally honour the convicted murderer of a Muslim meat trader in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh.
Shocking images of Jayant Sinha, Union Minister for Civil Aviation, garlanding eight convicted killers before posing for a group photo have gone viral on social media. Commentators, journalists and intellectuals have condemned Sinha for choosing to felicitate those, who’ve been convicted of killing an innocent man.
What’s even more shocking is Sinha’s educational background. He’s no ordinary cabinet colleague of Modi. Aside from being a son of former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, he’s also had the privilege of studying at some of the finest educational institutions in the world. The list of reputed educational institutions Sinha has studied includes IIT Delhi and Harvard Business School. Before becoming a full-time politician, Sinha had also worked for McKinsey & Company for 12 long years.
It’s in this context that Sinha’s support for killers of a man has stunned everyone even more.
Leader of Opposition in Jharkhand, Hemant Soren, said, “This is truly despicable. @Harvard Your alumnus @jayantsinha felicitating the accused in cow related lynching death in India. Is this what @Harvard stands for?”
— Hemant Soren (@HemantSorenJMM) July 6, 2018
Journalist Saba Naqvi wrote, “Wordless… Union Minister Jayant Sinha Garlands Ramgarh Lynching Convicts After Release on Bail.” Activist Kavita Krishnan said, “Union Minister @jayantsinha Garlands Ramgarh Lynching Convicts, even as GoI says WhatsApp not Govt is responsible for lynching epidemic. Every single news channels ought to make it their full time business to demand an answer from @PMOIndia on this shame.” Lawyer Prashant Bhushan commented, “Jayant Sinha hugs & garlands Ramgarh lynching convicts as they come out on bail! Obviously the junior Minister is keen to remain in the good books of his bosses Modi/Shah who patronise these lumpen thugs.”
Jharkhand High Court had granted bail to the eight men, who were convicted by a lower court for lynching a 40-year-old man named Alimuddin Ansari on 29 June last year in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh. Ansari’s killers had included a local BJP leader while another person surrendered in court in connection with the lynching of Ansari in Ramgarh district.
Ansari was kileld by the Hindutva terrorists on suspicion that he was carrying beef. The Hindutva mob had also set his vehicle on fire. Sinha met the convicts at an event organised by the BJP to welcome the high court’s bail order and felicitate the convicts.
Sinha’s support for killers of a Muslim trader comes just days after another BJP MP from Jharkhand stunningly announced that he would provide the financial help to the killers of two Muslim men. Nishikant Dubey, the BJP MP from Godda, had said that it was his duty to help the murderers of Muslim men fight their case ‘from the lower court to the Supreme Court.’