In the aftermath of the killing of 15-year-old Junaid Khan on a train a day before Eid, the Prime Minister has finally broken his silence on the series of deaths from lynchings that has claimed the lives of many innocent people from minority communities.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi made these statements at the centenary celebrations of the Sabarmati Ashram:
Killing people in the name of Gau Bhakti is not acceptable. This is not something Mahatma Gandhi would approve: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) June 29, 2017
As a society, there is no place for violence: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) June 29, 2017
Violence never has and never will solve any problem: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) June 29, 2017
Speaking of Mahatma Gandhi's teachings on ahimsa, Modi said:
We are a land of non violence. We are the land of Mahatma Gandhi. Why do we forget that: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) June 29, 2017
Let's all work together. Let's create the India of Mahatma Gandhi's dreams. Let's create an India our freedom fighters would be proud of: PM— PMO India (@PMOIndia) June 29, 2017
Watch Modi make the statement in this video:
This comes at a time when Muslims across India have said that they were scared of being attacked just because of their religion.
Junaid, who was returning home to Faridabad's Khandawli, was stabbed, his skull cap removed, his beard pulled. His brothers Shaqir and Hashim were also harassed by a group of men because of their religion. They were called 'beef eaters'.
In Junaid's village, Eid was a sad affair. People refrained from wearing skull caps in the fear that they may meet the same fate Junaid.
Even as recently as on Wednesday there were reports that police had to hold off a mob of 2000 in Jharkhand after the carcass of a cow was found in the house of a Muslim dairy farmer.
There have been several other cases of gruesome lynchings by gau rakshaks like Pehlu Khan in Alwar and Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri.
Modi's statements on Thursday bear significance given that on Wednesday, across India, people had gathered for silent protests with posters saying ,'Not In My Name'. The hashtag became the top trend on Twitter.
But even as the Prime Minister condemned the acts of violence, his cabinet seems to be of the opinion that there is no atmosphere of fear for minorities.
Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was quoted by The Indian Express as saying, "There is no atmosphere of fear or insecurity among minorities. Some forces want the agenda of destruction to dominate the agenda of development; action being taken against them."
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