“Everyone has to bow before the law; the law will fix accountability and the guilty will be punished,” PM Modi said. His commends come amid widespread violence in Haryana following the Dera chief verdict.
Speaking two days after widespread violence following the conviction of godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim for rape, PM Modi said violence in the name of faith would not be tolerated and law breakers would be punished.
“From the ramparts of the Red Fort, I had said that violence in the name of faith will not be tolerated, whether it is communal belief systems or subscribing to political ideologies, whether it is allegiance to a person or customs and traditions,” Modi said during his monthly radio address on Sunday.
With the Haryana government facing flak over its handling of Ram Rahim’s supporters in Panchkula, the PM said, “No one has right to take law into one’s own hands in the name of one’s beliefs… I assure my countrymen that people who take 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.”
Following the Punjab and Haryana HC’s criticism of the state government for vote bank politics, Modi said, “Everyone has to bow before the law; the law will fix accountability and the guilty will be punished.”
Without taking the name of any state, the PM said while on the one hand, a sense of festivity pervaded the country, on the other, news of violence came from “one part of the country”, and it was only natural to feel concerned.
Modi’s comments backing a no-tolerance approach to lawlessness of the sort that left 36 dead — mostly Ram Rahim supporters — seemed at least a part endorsement of the Haryana government’s actions with regard to police firing on violent devotees.
This is not the first time the PM has talked against people taking law into their hands. Earlier this month, he had lashed out at self-styled cow protectors and had even gone to the extent of saying that “fake vigilantes” wanted to create chaos. At a town hall meet in Delhi, he had said people who have set up “shops” in the name of ‘gau raksha’ make him very angry.
In June, PM Modi had condemned lynchings and violence by cow vigilantes and had asked states to take strong action against the law breakers.
Invoking Lord Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi to remind about the country’s tradition of non-violence, the PM said the Constitution provided for justice to all. He said the country of Buddha, Gandhi and Sardar Patel had imbibed community values, non-violence and mutual respect.
PM Modi also asked the youth to sweat it out on play fields instead of spending time in playing computer games, saying “playing field is more important than play station”. “Play Fifa on the computer, but sometimes show your skills with the football out in the field. You must be playing cricket on the computer but the pleasure of actually playing cricket in an open field under the sky is something else,” Modi said.