On Udaipur Killing, Congress Invokes PM Vajpayee's "Raj Dharma"

Congress' media department head Pawan Khera told a press conference in New Delhi that the Ashok Gehlot government had acted swiftly in the matter.

On Udaipur Killing, Congress Invokes PM Vajpayee's 'Raj Dharma'

Pawan Khera said the Congress party condemns the killing in Udaipur.

New Delhi:

Hitting back at the BJP over its charge of appeasement, the Congress on Wednesday asserted the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan was aware of its "raj dharma" and said action in the brutal killing of a tailor would be taken in accordance with law, unaffected by the religion or caste of those involved.

Two men with a cleaver murdered a tailor in Udaipur and posted videos online, claiming that they are avenging an insult to Islam. The BJP has said the killing of Kanhaiya Lal was not merely a murder but a "terror attack", and held the Congress government in Rajasthan responsible for the grisly crime.

Responding to questions over the killing, Congress' media department head Pawan Khera told a press conference in New Delhi the party condemns the incident and said the Ashok Gehlot government had acted swiftly in the matter.

"The Ashok Gehlot government got the accused arrested within six hours. An all-party meeting has been called in the evening. This whole matter has been fast-tracked. On the basis of what came up during the probe, Ashok Gehlot has assured all help to the NIA," Mr Khera said.

"With the atmosphere being vitiated in the entire country for the last two months, Ashok Gehlot has been urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah that they address the country, take steps to stop the spread of hatred in the society, and appeal for maintaining peace," he said.

Mr Khera alleged that polarisation is evident in every nook and corner of the country, and asked why this was not the case earlier.

The Congress spokesperson asserted that whoever is found guilty in the probe, strictest action will be taken against that person.

"There should be no doubt regarding that. The Ashok Gehlot government is fully aware of its raj dharma," he said.

Hitting out at the BJP over its claim that terror outfits are flourishing in the Rajsthan due to its "appeasement policy" towards one community, Mr Khera said, "Those talking of appeasement forget that in 2017 in Rajasthan's Rajsamand district, Shambhu Lal Regar had made a video while murdering someone and people of a particular party had climbed atop a court complex in his favour and hoisted their flag after removing the tricolour." 

Those talking of appeasement forget the murder of inspector Subodh Singh and that his murderers were garlanded, Mr Khera said.

"I would like to remind those talking of appeasement that arrests of the accused were made within six hours under the Gehlot government," he said.

The Congress government is bound by the Constitution and every government must work in within the limits of the statute, Mr Khera said.

"The Congress has done that and arrests were made within six hours. We assure you that action will be taken in accordance with law and neither religion nor caste or section will be looked at," he stressed.

Two men, identified as Riaz Akhtari and Ghouse Mohammad, have been arrested for the murder.

In a video clip, Akhtari declared that they had beheaded the man and went on to threaten Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying their knife will get him as well.

Indirectly, the assailants also referred to Nupur Sharma, the BJP leader who was suspended from the party over a controversial remark on Prophet Mohammad. Lal, the tailor, was recently arrested by the local police over some remarks made on social media by him.

Lal's killing triggered stray cases of violence in Udaipur and the curfew was clamped in seven police station areas of the city. The curfew remained imposed in seven police station areas of the city on Wednesday and mobile internet services were suspended across all 33 districts of the state, officials said. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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