Mumbai: An online petition started on Saturday demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sack Union Minister Jayant Sinha from his cabinet.
"At a time when the central government is claiming that it is taking steps to control cases of mob lynching, Union Minister Jayant Sinha welcomed and garlanded eight people convicted in the Ramgarh lynching case", the petition on change.org started by Syed Quaim said.
"This was after the Jharkhand High Court granted bail to the eight men. They have been convicted by a lower court of lynching a man named Alimuddin Ansari, 40, on June 29 last year in Jharkhand's Ramgarh", he added.
In June last year, Alimuddin Ansari was dragged out of his car and beaten to death in Jharkhand's Ramgarh by a mob that accused him of carrying beef. Eleven people, including a local BJP leader Nityanand Mahto (45), were arrested and convicted.
The life sentences of eight men have been suspended by the high court in Jharkhand. Nityanand Mahto was the first to be released.
Soon after the convicts were released on bail on 4 July, they headed straight to Jayant Sinha’s house on the outskirts of Hazaribagh. Sinha, Union Minister of State (MoS0 for Civil Aviation was waiting for them and welcomed them with garlands and sweets.
Once the photographs depicting Sinha’s actions emerged, the opposition was quick to slam the minister. “The BJP only wants to fan communal violence. Both the state and central government have failed to deliver on the ground,” said Ajoy Kumar, the Jharkhand Congress president. “Their entire game is to win the election and for that any leader of their party can go to any extent. I am not surprised at all. This is the real face of the party.”
CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury accused the government of attempting to disturb the social fabric of the country. “We don’t need to look far to see who or which ideology is tearing our social fabric apart: when union ministers patronise those convicted of lynching,” he had tweeted.
Angry reaction were also posted on Twitter where users repeatedly referred to Sinha’s qualifications, including his MBA degree from Harvard.
“Jayant Sinha is doing a distress sale of his reputation to pay for the performance bankruptcy of his masters … In Harvard they teach this to investment bankers,” tweeted Sid, a New Delhi-based lawyer.
“Jayant Sinha has a Harvard MBA. He was a consultant at McKinsey and a partner at @OmidyarNetwork, the foundation of global philanthropist @pierre Pierre Omidyar,” tweeted Annie Gowen, the India bureau chief for The Washington Post.
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