New Delhi: In a U-turn from his earlier stand of honouring the due process of law, Union minister Jayant Sinha has now expressed “regret” over his act of garlanding Jharkhand lynching convicts.
“Law will take its own course. Guilty will be punished and innocent will be spared. If by garlanding those men (Ramgarh lynching case convicts) an impression has gone out that I support such vigilantism then I express regret,” Sinha was quoted as saying by ANI.
Sinha courted controversy last week after photographs of him garlanding the convicts at his residence in Hazaribagh (Jharkhand) surfaced in the public domain.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday supported an online petition against Sinha that sought the withdrawal of his Harvard alumni status in the wake of his controversial act.
The Congress has also demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi sack the junior Civil Aviation Minister immediately, else it would seem that the Prime Minister approved of the minister’s act.
Earlier, defending himself Sinha said he rejects “any type of vigilantism” and “condemn all acts of violence”.
Yashwant Sinha, Jayant’s father, also did not approve of his son felicitating the eight convicts.
Taking to Twitter, Yashwant Sinha said, “Earlier I was the Nalayak Baap of a Layak Beta. Now the roles are reversed. That is twitter. I do not approve of my son’s action. But I know even this will lead to further abuse. You can never win.”
A mob of more than 100 cow vigilantes had on June 27 last year hacked cattle trader Alimuddin Ansari to death in broad daylight in Ramgarh area of Hazaribagh ditrict. Sinha represents the Hazaribagh seat in Lok Sabha.
The case was handed over to a fast-track court, which on March 21 this year completed the hearing in a record five months and sentenced eleven accused to life imprisonment. All accused went to the Jharkhand High Court from where eight of them got bail on June 29, exactly a year after the incident. The men walked out of the Jai Prakash Narain Central Jail and headed straight to the residence of Sinha, where the minister garlanded them.