The senseless violence and carnage engineered by followers of the self-styled godman and rape convict Gurmeet Ram Rahim has elicited nation-wide outrage, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi sternly warning that “any person or group of people “taking the law in their hands will not be spared.”
In his radio programme entitled, “Mann ki Baat,” on August 26, Mr Modi said that any person or group of people “taking the law in their hands will not be spared.” Two days after the followers of Ram Rahim, the head of Dera Saccha Sauda, unleashed orchestrated violence in Panchkula and neighbouring districts, following his conviction in rape cases, Mr Modi sent out a no-nonsense message, saying that violence in the name of faith is unacceptable.
“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.
Mr Modi, however, did not make direct mention of the mindless violence in Haryana.
Mr Modi’s comments came amid widespread public perception that the BJP government led by Manohar Lal Khattar failed to anticipate and thwart organised violence that followed the conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim, the flamboyant self-styled spiritual guru-cum-entertainer, in a 2002 rape case. On the day the violence broke out in Panchkula, Mr Modi had expressed “deep distress,” at the mayhem that has claimed over 30 lives and left hundreds injured.
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