A 28-year-old man named Rakbar Khan was brutally thrashed by a mob in Rajasthan’s Alwar on the suspicion of being a cow smuggler and later died in police custody as the policemen, who picked him from the site of the incident, admitted him to a hospital that was barely 6-km away three hours later. However, it did not stop there. After the unwarranted vigilantism and utter callousness by the police, a brigade of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders added to the woes of an incident that has already shook the nation.

It started with the initial reaction from Union Minister and senior BJP leader Arjun Ram Meghwal who claimed that the Alwar lynching incident was related to the cause of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rising popularity. He further added that as PM Modi will become more popular in the country, such incidents will only increase.

It was later followed by another senior BJP leader Vinay Katiyar who said that the Muslim community should refrain from even touching a cow in order to keep the aggressive Hindus at bay. He said that there are a lot of Muslims who are sheltering cows and killing them, and in return inviting the wrath of the Hindus.

BJP MLA Raja Singh further added fuel to the fire by releasing a video where he justified the mob lynching incident. Singh said that until the Centre declares cow as ‘Rashtra Mata’, mob lynchings will continue to happen in the country.

Rajasthan Cabinet minister Jaswant Yadav also joined the bandwagon of his party members. In his message post the Alwar incident, Yadav said that the Muslims should stop smuggling cows as it is not going down well with the sentiments of Hindus.

BJP’s Alwar (Urban) MLA Banwari Lal Singhal was extremely critical of the family and community of Rakbar Khan. He said that people from the Meo community are heavily involved in criminal activities and entire Alwar is suffering from that.

Another Rajasthan BJP lawmaker had his opinion on the matter but he took it quite farther than his party men. MLA Gyandev Ahuja accused the police of conspiring against two of the three men arrested in the lynching case. He said that the two men are innocent and should be released from police custody immediately.

The BJP leaders had provided more than adequate food to invite massive retaliation and the Opposition leaders took turns to rip apart the irresponsible, thoughtless comments on the sensitive issue. From Rahul Gandhi to Mamata Banerjee, everybody jumped in to target the Central government and the BJP leadership.

Given how fast the 2019 Lok Sabha elections are approaching, BJP leaders better get their act together before they face voters. And the tall leaders of the party should take strict measures to contain their regressive leaders in order to keep the progressive agenda alive.

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