India's Modi calls Muslim's murder over beef 'unfortunate'

Published: October 14, 2015
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi PHOTO: REUTERS

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke his silence Wednesday over the lynching of a Muslim man suspected of eating beef, calling it “unfortunate”, after criticism over his failure to speak out.

Modi accused the opposition of trying to stir up controversy over the incident last month in which Mohammad Akhlaq was dragged from his home and beaten to death over rumours he had eaten beef.

Cows are considered sacred by Hindus, and beef eating has become a highly contentious issue since Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took power, with several states banning the practice.

The attack in the northern town of Dadri on the outskirts of India’s capital came against a background of growing concern over the influence of Hindu nationalist groups.

Read: Mob kills Indian Muslim over beef eating rumours: police

Last week one group with ties to the BJP forced the cancellation of a concert by a well-known Pakistani singer in the western city of Mumbai.

“The Dadri incident and refusal to allow the Pakistani singer to hold a concert are unfortunate and unwanted incidents,” Modi told the Ananda Bazar Patrika daily in comments published Wednesday.

“The BJP has never supported such acts. The opposition is trying to level charges of communalism against the BJP, but in doing so, they are themselves indulging in the politics of polarisation,” he told the Bengali-language daily.

Modi has repeatedly appealed for religious unity in India, but critics say his failure to condemn such attacks is emboldening the Hindu right and encouraging intolerance towards Muslims and other religious minorities.

Read: Mutton found in lynched man’s fridge

They are concerned by his failure to slap down prominent BJP members who make potentially inflammatory comments — such as Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, who recently dismissed the Dadri killing as an “accident”.

On Tuesday the author Salman Rushdie said that Modi’s silence was giving rise to a new culture of “thuggish violence” in India.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Point
    Oct 14, 2015 - 12:52PM

    It’s not stirring up, it’s your anti-minorities campaign that has lead to all this. At least in our country there are countless people who raise voice for minorities and at least we are making efforts and progressing to eliminate elements that have caused troubles in the past. On the other hand you are rather giving ministries to people on the level of how much anti they are Recommend

  • Sunil
    Oct 14, 2015 - 3:56PM

    Don’t eat beef and if you want to .. go and live in Pakistan. Recommend

  • Lion King
    Oct 14, 2015 - 3:58PM

    By “unfortunate” the butcher of gujarat perhaps means that it’s

    unfortunate that only one Muslim was lynched.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Oct 14, 2015 - 4:49PM

    They way Indians are acting is hilarious, as if they did not expect this during Modi’s time as PM. It is just the beginning, just wait and see what else happens in his tenure.Recommend

  • Milind
    Oct 14, 2015 - 5:01PM

    @Point – “At least in our country there are countless people who raise voice for minorities and at least we are making efforts and progressing to eliminate elements that have caused troubles in the past. ”

    I love your sense of humour… Recommend

  • Ravi
    Oct 14, 2015 - 6:10PM

    @Point: oh, you think you are doing better in Pakistan with your minorities? You have reduced your Hindu population from 22 to 2% in 60 years. Every day your fellow citizens are kidnapping, raping and converting Hindu girls. If I was a Muslim, I would keep quiet, and not point fingers at others.Recommend

  • Anjaan
    Oct 14, 2015 - 7:04PM

    @ Point,
    You Pakistanis need to realize that what is happening in India now, may just be a rather late reaction to the systematic decimation of the minority Hindus in Pakistan over the years … Recommend

  • Aryan
    Oct 14, 2015 - 8:38PM

    modi’s laegacy is that of a genocidal maniacRecommend

  • Azi
    Oct 14, 2015 - 8:58PM

    Only took him weeks to release the statement, tells a lot if his feelings are genuine. Under his new India there is case of hate crime of Hindus vs everyone almost everyday. India come down the the extremist path, while we are exiting it. Bad days ahead for India.Recommend

  • Asok
    Oct 14, 2015 - 11:00PM

    In other words, he carefully avoided ascribing blame or condemning the incident. It is just “unfortunate”, like a natural disaster or the car you are in running over a puppy.


  • Aamir - Toronto
    Oct 15, 2015 - 3:31AM

    This man cannot be trusted !!!!Recommend

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