NEW DELHI -- Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Friday said the alleged lynching of a man in Rajasthan by cow vigilantes should not be viewed from a religious point of view as "criminals are just criminals".
This comment of his came a day after he denied the incident ever occurred.
The opposition raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha amid noisy scenes for the second day in a row, seeking an apology from Naqvi for misleading the House on 6 April.
Naqvi assured the House that Home Minister Rajnath Singh was likely to make a statement over the incident on 3 April.
"A criminal, a murderer, a hooligan should not be looked at as a Hindu or a Muslim. A criminal is a criminal," Naqvi told the House.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad demanded Naqvi's apology for "misleading the House" and also sought action against the self-styled "gau rakshaks" who were harassing and killing people in the name of cow protection.
Congress MPs gathered near the Chairman's podium, demanding adjournment. However, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien, presiding the proceedings, rejected the demand.
"One gets 14-day remand for slapping. But in this Rajasthan case, the accused was freed after a day. This government should take this House seriously," Azad said.
"This is undermining the position of the Rajya Sabha. Since the Alwar issue was raised yesterday (Thursday), the Home Minister should have come today (Friday)."
The lynching incident occurred on 1 April when a group of self-styled cow vigilantes allegedly attacked dairy farmer Pehlu Khan in Behror area of Alwar.
Khan was travelling in a truck with two cows and two calves. The attackers accused Khan of illegally smuggling cows for slaughter. However, his family said he had bought the animals for his small dairy business.
Also on HuffPost India