New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asserted in his radio programme Mann ki Baat this morning that any person or group of people "taking the law in their hands will not be spared." Violence in the name of faith is unacceptable, the Prime Minister has said, two days after followers of self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh erupted in violence that left a deadly trail of death and destruction in the small, peaceful Haryana town of Panchkula and in other cities.
- Violence in the name of faith is unacceptable: PM Modi on Mann Ki Baat
- Violence erupted in Haryana after Ram Rahim convicted in rape case
- Dera chief Ram Rahim will be sentenced on Monday
"India is the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Buddha. Violence is not acceptable in the nation, in any form," said the Prime Minister. "I want to assure my countrymen that people who take the law into their own hands and are on the path of violent suppression - whether it is a person or a group - neither this country nor any government will tolerate it. Each and every person will have to abide by the law; the law will fix accountability and the guilty will unquestionably be punished," he said, making no direct mention of the violence in Haryana.
36 people have died and over 250 are injured in the violence that erupted after Ram Rahim was convicted and arrested in a 2002 rape case by a court in Panchkula. Over a lakh followers of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect were allowed to gather in Panchkula ahead of the verdict. Large mobs threw stones, clashed with the police and set fire to vehicles and public property in Panchkula, Sirsa, where the Dera is headquartered and in others parts of Haryana and Punjab.
Furious judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court made a lacerating indictment of the BJP's Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana for allowing law and order to get out of hand after the rape case verdict and called it a "political surrender to lure vote-banks." It has also accused the Khattar government of letting "a city like Panchkula burn for political motives."
The three-judge high court bench made a lacerating indictment of the BJP's Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana for allowing law and order to get out of hand after the rape case verdict and called it a "political surrender to lure vote-banks." It has also accused the Khattar government of letting "a city like Panchkula burn for political motives."
Chief Minister Khattar had on Friday acknowledged that there were lapses "that shouldn't have happened" but also appeared to shield Ram Rahim's followers as he said "miscreants" had infiltrated the crowd of Dera Sacha Sauda devotees.
There have been calls from the opposition for Chief Minister Khattar's resignation, but the BJP has made it clear that he will not be removed.
There was "no suggestion" that Mr Khattar should be removed, a top BJP source told NDTV, asserting: "We never remove anyone without hearing from them." BJP president Amit Shah met Anil Jain, the party's Haryana in-charge, and senior leader Kailash Vijayvargiya on Saturday and is reported to have said that "under the circumstances, he handled it the best way possible."