Those involved in lynching incidents are not nationalists, says Venkaiah Naidu

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New Delhi: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has said that people involved in lynching incidents and hate crime cannot call themselves nationalists, adding that a change in societal behaviour was required to prevent such cases.

The vice president also expressed anguish over the politicisation of incidents of lynching, saying such cases should not be linked with political parties.

When asked about the incidents of hate and lynching, he said it was not a new trend and there were such instances in the past also.

“It is the societal behaviour that has to change…when you kill the other man, how can you call yourself nationalist. On the basis of religion, on the basis of caste or on the basis of colour, or on the basis of gender, you discriminate. Nationalism, Bharat Mata Ki Jai has a wider meaning,” Naidu told news agency PTI in an interview on Tuesday.

The government has been under attack from the Indian National Congress and several other opposition parties for a spate of lynching incidents in various parts of the country in the last couple of years.

According to Home Ministry data, around 40 people were lynched in nine states of the country in the past one year.

The opposition and various civil rights groups have also accused the government of not coming down hard on those involved in the incidents.

On July 17, the Supreme Court said that “horrendous acts of mobocracy” cannot be allowed to overrun the law of the land and issued a slew of guidelines to deal with mob lynching and cow vigilantism. It also asked the Centre to consider enacting a new law to sternly deal with such incidents.

A panel appointed by the government to examine ways to contain such incidents is believed to have recommended framing a new legislation.

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