“We’ve Lynched 5… You Kill, I’ll Ensure Bail”: Rajasthan BJP Ex-MLA Cites Pehlu Khan As Example
Rajasthan BJP leader Gyan Dev Ahuja has been caught on camera urging a crowd to “kill anyone involved in cow slaughter”, saying, “We have so far lynched five people, be it in Lawandi or Behror,” in a direct reference to the murders of Rakbar Khan and Pehlu Khan in Alwar district.
“I have given free hand to workers to kill. We will get them acquitted and secure bail,” the former MLA further says in the video.
After the video went viral, he’s been booked on charges for spreading communal disharmony, under Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code.
The BJP’s Alwar unit has said these are “his own views”. “The party does not have this thinking,” BJP’s Alwar South chief Sanjay Singh Naruka told new agency PTI.
But Mr Ahuja, who was legislator from Ramgarh, defended his stance, saying “anyone involved in cow smuggling and slaughter won’t be spared”. He did tweak his statement a bit: “I said five Meo Muslims who were smuggling cows were beaten up by our workers.”
He made the comments while interrupting a speaker, who was urging a group of people to launch an agitation against the killing of 45-year-old Chiranjilal Saini by a mob in Govindgarh town last Sunday upon suspicion of tractor theft. BJP leaders and right-wing groups have said it was a lynching, though police have not found a communal angle.
He told PTI that he was sitting with a local RSS leader who suggested launching an agitation to protest against “lynching” of Chiranjilal Saini. “Meo people smuggle and slaughter cows, and Hindus have sentiments for cows, so they target the smugglers,” he told the news agency. He said it was his duty to protect his workers.
Rajasthan Congress chief Govind Singh Dotasra, who shared the video on Twitter today, said, “What more proof is needed of the BJP’s religious terror and bigotry? The real face of the BJP has been exposed.”
The two lynchings that the former Ramgarh MLA directly refers to took place in April 2017, when Pehlu Khan was lynched in Behror, and July 2018, when Rakbar Khan died after being beaten up in Lawandi village in Ramgarh.