Union Minister Jayant Sinha garlands Ramgarh lynching convicts after release on bail

HAZARIBAGH: Triggering a political storm amid the government's claim of taking steps to control rising incidents of lynching across the country, Union Minister Jayant Sinha on Friday felicitated eight men convicted for killing a meat trader in Jharkhand last year.

In a picture that has gone viral, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation is seen garlanding the convicts in the Ramgarh lynching case in Jharkhand at his residence on the outskirts of Hazaribagh.

A group of people had lynched Alimuddin Ansari, 40, in Bazaar Tand locality of Ramgarh town on June 29, 2017, on the suspicion that he was carrying beef in his car. Forensic tests later confirmed that the meat he was carrying was beef.

In March this year, a fast track court convicted 11 people for lynching. However, last week, Jharkhand High Court suspended the life sentence of eight persons, including a BJP functionary.

After getting bail, the convicts walked out of the Jai Prakash Narain Central Jail and headed straight to Sinha's residence.

Jharkhand's leader of opposition Hemant Soren, tagging the minister's alma mater, the prestigious Harvard University said, "This is truly despicable."

"@Harvard Your alumnus @jayantsinha felicitating the accused in cow related lynching death in India. Is this what @Harvard stands for?," Soren tweeted.

"It was a very sensitive issue and what Sinha did was absolutely unbecoming of a union minister," Soren told a news Channel.

" Hitting out at Modi government, Sitaram Yechury said, "We don't need to look far to see who or which ideology is tearing our social fabric apart: when union ministers patronise those convicted of lynching.

Accused BJP of fanning communal sentiments, Jharkhand state Congress Chief Ajoy Kumar said, "Any kind of support to such elements is deplorable. This is the true color of BJP. They just want to win the election and for that their leaders can cross any limit."

27 people in 10 states have fallen victim to lynching and here we have a BJP lawmaker @jayantsinha happily welcoming lynching convicts with sweets and garlands! What kind of a representative of the people are you? #SaveIndia #BharatBachao pic.twitter.com/c7Pup8wO1a

- Youth Congress (@IYC) July 6, 2018

In April, Sinha had raised doubts over the police investigation and demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the Ramgarh lynching case.

"We respect the judicial process. But from whatever I have gathered after consultations and studying the various facets (of the case), I firmly believe that complete justice has not been done. I am not a police officer, and I have not done a detailed inquiry, but as per my understanding, complete justice has not been done," Sinha had said.


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