NEW DELHI: BJP leader and Union Minister Jayant Sinha on Wednesday expressed regret for garlanding eight convicts of the Ramgarh lynching case after their release on bail last week. His last week action had invited huge criticism from the political opposition, civil society and human rights groups. A group of retired civil servants had also demanded his sacking from union cabinet.
“Law will take its own course. Guilty will be punished & innocent will be spared. If by garlanding those men (Ramgarh lynching case convicts) an impression has gone out that I support such vigilantism then I express regret,” Sinha was quoted as saying by ANI.
Meat trader Alimuddin Ansari was lynched by a mob of cow vigilantes in Ramgarh district of Jharkhand on 29th June 2017. In March this year, 11 accused,+ including a local district-level BJP leader, were awarded life sentence by the Fast-Track Court. Eight of them including the BJP leader challenged the verdict in the Jharkhand High Court. On 29th June, the HC suspended the sentence and ordered their release on bail.
After their release from the jail on Thursday (5th July), Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Sinha, who represents Hazaribagh in the Lok Sabha, met the convicts at an event organised by the BJP to welcome the high court’s bail order and felicitate the convicts.
Sinha welcomed the mob-lynching convicts, garlanded them and offered them sweets triggering a political storm as the opposition accused him and the BJP of fanning communal tensions deliberately.
At least 50 retired civil servants had on Monday demanded his sacking from the cabinet.
An online campaign was also launched seeking withdrawal of Sinha’s Harvard alumnus status.