Samajwadi Party's member Naresh Agrawal made a controversial remark which caused an uproar in the treasury benches. (Representative image) Photograph: (ANI)
The House witnessed acrimonious scenes as the Opposition targeted the government over the lynchings in the name of cow protection
Rajya Sabha witnessed an uproar after Samajwadi Party's Naresh Agrawal made controversial remarks over Hindu gods, PTI reported.
Taking strong objection to his comments, the Treasury benches demanded an apology from him.
Later, he withdrew his comments but SP's Ramgopal Yadav said that there is no question of apologising.
Earlier, Rajya Sabha witnessed acrimonious scenes over the issue of lynchings in the name of cow protection.
The Opposition came down heavily on the treasury benches for not doing enough to stop lynchings.
Congress party leader and Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said that this is a fight to save humanity while raising the issue of lynchings in various states.
Samajwadi Party leaders stormed the well of the House questioning the government over the steps it had taken to stop the lynchings, PTI reported.
This led to the House getting adjourned for 10 minutes.
Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, the junior home minister, while responding to Congress' Digvijay Singh on whether the government is bringing a special law to deal with such cases, said that the there is no need to bring any changes to the existing laws.
He added that the centre had already issued advisories to states to register FIRs in such cases and book the culprits under existing laws.
The junior home minister further added that the Prime Minister had also spoken out against the issue of lynchings in the name of cow protection.
PM stated cow vigilantes shouldn't take law in their hands, MHA issued advisory. Dragging BJP into this not right: MoS Home H. Ahir in RS pic.twitter.com/sHwy3cWmJe— ANI (@ANI_news) July 19, 2017
He rejected Samajwadi Party's Naresh Agrawal's charge that BJP men are behind the lynchings, PTI said.
"It is not correct that BJP people are involved in this," he said.
The minister said that the NCRB started recording data on lynchings since 2014. He cited the NCRB data to show that there were more incidents of lynchings in the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 in non-BJP ruled states.
The minister said that all states have acted against those behind such incidents and have sent information to Centre except West Bengal.
"In Haryana, four people have been arrested, while three have been held in West Bengal, 30 persons in Jharkhand and four have been held in Maharashtra," he said, adding all states have acted and no culprits are roaming free, PTI reported.
"If anyone is not arrested, we will ask the states to take action...The Centre is not running away from fulfilling its duty and have asked states to send complete reports," Ahir said.
SP's Naresh Agrawal had asked the government if it was aware of the number of incidents of lynchings by cow vigilantes.
The junior home minister responded saying that police and public order are state subjects and the state governments are competent to deal with such issues under the provisions of law. He also added that the NCRB does not maintain data on lynchings in the name of cow vigilantism.
Dissatisfied with the Centre's response the SP members resorted to sloganeering in the well of the House which led to the adjournment.