New Delhi: In what appears to be an attempt to evade responsibility, Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje has said that lynching is not unique to Rajasthan, said a News18 report.
“It happens all over the world, that’s not something happening in Rajasthan alone and if somebody is trying to say that why wasn’t she listening and why wasn’t she doing anything… it is very difficult because if at 12’O clock in the night in some remote part of Rajasthan something like this happens, I would have to be rather much than god to know exactly what is really happening,” the report quoted her as saying.
Blaming the lynchings on lack of jobs which in turn lead to helplessness and anger, Raje reportedly said, “This is the problem that stems out of population explosions. People wanting jobs, people are frustrated that they are not being able to get jobs. There is frustration which is spreading across communities and people… It’s not something that is coming out of the state. It’s coming out of the people’s angry reaction to their circumstances.”
Her remarks come on the heels of the lynching of Rakbar Khan in Rajasthan’s Alwar district.
The state’s chief minister is not the first from her party to offer excuses for the killings. Arjun Ram Meghwal, BJP Union minister from the state, had reportedly termed the lynching of Rakbar Khan a part of a “conspiracy”, the result of the “rising popularity of Prime Minister Modi” and “a reaction to the impact of his schemes”.
Even the BJP chief Amit Shah, in an interaction with the Indian Express last week, denied that the cases of lynchings have gone up during the last four years. The BJP leader observed that the media is now reporting such cases more than it did during the rule of the Congress regime. Replying to the question about his government’s inability to contain such violence, Shah said, “The incidents of cow vigilantism were less reported in the previous United Progressive Alliance…Meaning no one (from the media) discussed such incidents that took place during Congress rule,” said Shah.
Faced with mounting criticism that followed Rakbar Khan’s killing, Rajasthan Police suspended assistant sub-inspector Mohan Singh for the undue delay in taking the victim to a hospital. “If you are suspending people (for negligence), if you are opening them for inquiries, these things will make a difference in people’s lives,” Raje reportedly told ANI.
A report in Scroll recalled the incidents of mob violence in Rajasthan in the recent past. Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer, was assaulted by self-styled cow vigilantes for ‘illegally’ transporting cattle in Rajasthan’s Alwar district in 2017. Umar Mohammed, while transporting cows, was allegedly shot dead and later thrown on railway tracks by cow vigilantes in Bharatpur.