AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi tweeted in response to Mohan Bhagwat's remarks (File)
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has slammed RSS leader Mohan Bhagwat over attempts to distance the Hindutva ideology from those guilty of the "mob lynching" of Muslims and other minorities; such people are "against Hindutva", Bhagwat said at a Muslim Rashtriya Manch event yesterday.
A furious Mr Owaisi hit back Monday with caustic tweets attacking "criminals who don't know the difference between cows and buffalos...but know enough to kill people based on names from a particular community". He accused a "Hindutva government" of emboldening these "criminals".
"RSS's Bhagwat said those who committed lynching are 'anti-Hindutva'... these criminals don't know the difference between cow and buffalo but know enough to kill people with names like Junaid, Akhlaq, Pehlu, Rakbar, Alimuddin," Asaduddin Owaisi tweeted.
"These criminals have the support of a Hindutva government," he said.
Mr Owaisi referred to a number of violent attacks on Muslims by 'gau rakshaks', or cow vigilantes, over the past few years, dating back to the brutal killing of Mohammad Akhlaq in 2015, the attack on Pehlu Khan in 2017, and the horrific death of Alimuddin in 2018.
"Alimuddin's killers are garlanded at the hands of a Union Minister... the tricolor is laid over the body of Akhlaq's killer... a mahapanchayat is convened in support of the killers of Asif..." he said, underlining what he said, according to news agency ANI, was "public support (for those who participated in hate crimes against Muslims) by people associated with the ruling party".
"Cowardice, violence and murder are an integral part of Godse's Hindutva thinking. The lynching of Muslims is also the result of this thinking," he tweeted.
Mr Owaisi's remarks came a day after Mohan Bhagwat said the law should punish those guilty of "mob lynching", although he immediately added "at times, false cases have been registered".
"The cow is a holy animal... but those who are indulging in lynching are going against Hindutva. Law should take its own course against them without any partiality," Bhagwat said.
He also claimed "Hindu-Muslim unity is misleading as they're not different, but one. DNA of all Indians are same, irrespective of religion", and that Muslims should not get "trapped in a cycle of fear".
Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM will field 100 candidates in the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly election.
With input from ANI, PTI