In a recent video interview to BBC Hindi, Union minister Jayant Sinha has made a sensational revelation. Sinha claimed :
Six people, who were arrested in 2017 for lynching a 45-year-old Jharkhand meat trader, were provided financial assistance by the Bharatiya Janata Party. The BJP leader quoted:
“They (accused) came from a poor family. Their family members requested us to assist them financially in order to help them in hiring an able advocate. I, along with other members of the party (BJP) helped them in paying for the advocate’s fees.”
This issue had triggered major controversy when Sinha was caught on camera felicitating and posing with the six accused after they were released on bail. As per Sinha, they had visited him at his residence in Hazaribagh to thank him for helping them.
When the BBC reporter questioned if it was right on part of BJP and their leaders to garland the accused before an acquittal, Sinha made it sound absolutely normal by saying,
“Various opposition leaders are garlanded across the country despite being accused in several cases.”
The Union minister said he had sympathy for the victim’s family and condemned the lynching, however, he also gave a clean chit to the accused calling them “innocent”.
“I have great sympathy for the victims’ family. Whatever happened is tragic but the people who came to my house were innocent. You’ve made this assumption that they were the perpetrators. This assumption of yours is flawed.”
In 2017, after this incident was reported, Prateek Kanwal, an alumnus of Harvard University, had also written a letter to the President of one of world’s top universities to strip Jayant Sinha of Harvard Alumni Status.
“On behalf of the concerned citizens of India, I have been forced to write this letter, early in your tenure, to bring to your attention the infamy that one of our alumni, Mr. Jayant Sinha (Harvard Business School, 1992) has gained in India and the disrepute he has brought your university by his intemperate actions.”
- On June 29, 2017, a group of people had lynched 45-year-old Alimuddin Ansari in Bazaar Tand locality of Ramgarh town on the suspicion that he was carrying beef in his car
- A fast track court in Ramgarh had convicted 12 persons in this connection and sentenced 11 of them to life imprisonment on March 21 this year
- These also included one juvenile
- Of the 11 convicts sentenced to life imprisonment, ten were granted bail by the Jharkhand High court while one accused were behind the bars
- Among the ten convicts out on bail, one convict Sikandar Ram was electrocuted near his home in Ramgarh town in July last year
This is not the first time a BJP leader has felicitated lynch accused. In a Lok Sabha election rally in April this year, Dadri lynch accused in Mohammad Akhlaq’s case were rewarded with front row seats in UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s rally.