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Mudda panellists feel that though lynchings have been happening in the past, a stronger political message must emerge to prevent any more such mishaps

Even as the government set up a high-level panel headed by Union Home secretary Rajiv Gauba to formulate measures to deal with lynch mobs, the Parliament witnessed uproarious scenes over the recent incidents in Alwar and Singrauli, MP. APN’s popular debate show Mudda discussed the issue. Anchorperson Anant Tyagi posed questions to panellists BJP‘s Bhaskar Ghosh, Congress’ Hilal Naqvi, RSS’s Hemant Vishnoi, All India Imam Association’s Maulana Mohammad Sajid Rashidi, UP Central Wakf Board’s Wasim Rizvi and Alwar lynching case petitioner Tehseen Poonawala.

Ghosh said: “Lynchings are not new in our society, and our government is taking steps to deal with them. The government does not support it.”

Vishnoi said:”Police and intelligence wings should be pulling up their socks.”

Rashidi said: “Don’t club this issue together with either Hindus or Muslims, though it is certain that if it’s a cow issue, then Muslims are targeted.”

Rizvi said: “It’s not related to any single religion since it’s all triggered by rumours.”

Poonawala said: “When I went to the apex court in 2016, I mentioned Congress’ Karnataka and SP‘s UP… besides, the most lynching cases are of women who are considered dayan or promiscuous.”

Naqvi said: “This issue concerns humanity at large. As long as certain political parties take mileage out of such incidents, it cannot be stopped. Why was Swami Agnivesh thrashed? That was nothing to do with beef eating. Stop voting for BJP to put an end to lynchings.”

Ghosh said: “How can you forget that during the Congress’ time, too, there have been riots and lynchings?”

Rashidi said: “Lynching anyone is bad. How has this become a cow issue? Who sells cows? It’s a known fact that it’s the Hindus who openly sell cows. As much as 71 percent of the people in the country are eating meat, but are Muslims 71 percent of the population? Obviously, meat is eaten by Muslims as well as Hindus.”

Poonawala said: “The law is not enough when rumours come into play. The cow is only an excuse to target poor, women, minorities and the socially marginalised.”

Ghosh said: “Violence happens in a myriad ways. In West Bengal, there are incidents of political terrorism and mob killings. Lynch mobs don’t target beef eaters alone.”

Poonawala said: “It’s a sad truth. If laws are not put in place at the earliest, no innocent is ever going to be spared. Pehlu Khan was a certified officer of the animal husbandry department, and yet he was targeted. The cow cannot get more importance than human life.”

Ghosh said: ”The centre has set up a committee, and the Rajasthan government, too, is looking into these cases.”

Naqvi said: “I only want to know why the accused are roaming scot-free. The political will to nab the culprits is missing.”

Rizvi said: “First, laws should be made, and second, the government should ensure that action is taken against culprits.”

—Compiled by Niti Singh Bhandari

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