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Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said the government will show no sympathy to those lynching people in the name of cow protection.

“Nobody has the right to take law in his hands. And if somebody does, he should be condemned, arrested, and prosecuted. The government’s stand is very clear — nobody is allowed to do that,” Jaitley said in the Rajya Sabha.

He was replying to a short duration discussion on the situation arising out of increasing incidents of lynching and atrocities on minorities and Dalits across the country.

“… there is no rationalisation, no argument about hurting of sentiments can be an explanation for the crime,” he said adding that the central government is absolutely committed on the issue and has already sent an advisory to the states.

He said Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has already spoken on the matter with the state governments.

“Therefore, the law will certainly take its course in these cases. No amount of sympathy will be shown to these people. The Prime Minister has spoken thrice on the issue,” Jaitley said.

On the atrocities on Dalits, Jaitley said oppression in the name of caste will not be tolerated and that stringent laws are in place to protect the Dalits.

“The way we have historically treated one section of our brethren is a black spot in our history. We owe it to ourselves, if not to them, to reverse that process of history,” the Minister said.

He said he categorically assured the house on the government’s commitment on the issue.

“If such incidents where police is not acting is brought to our notice, the (central) government will not think twice before issuing advisory to the state concerned or even asking for report,” the Minister said.

However, the senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader said, it was also not proper to “eulogise” cow slaughter.

He said it was under the Congress rule that most states in India enacted laws prohibiting cow slaughter in the 1950s.

Quoting Article 48 of the Indian Constitution that talks of prohibition of cow slaughter, Jaitley said it was introduced by (Father of the Indian Constitution) Bhim Rao Ambedkar and not by Narendra Modi or Rajnath Singh.

In the Rajya Sabha, Union Minister of state for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir too said that the Narendra Modi government is neither anti-Dalit nor anti-Muslim as was alleged by the opposition.

First Published | 20 July 2017 8:00 PM
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