Reacting to the alleged lynching of a man in Rajasthan by cow vigilantes, Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said that such incidents should not be seen from a religious point of view because criminals have no religion.
"Criminals are just criminals," Naqvi told Rajya Sabha as the Rajya Sabha witnessed noisy scenes on the issue for the second day in a row, seeking an apology from Naqvi for misleading the House on Thursday when he denied that any such incident occurred.
Naqvi assured the House that Home Minister Rajnath Singh was likely to make a statement over the incident on Monday.
"A criminal, a murderer, a hooligan should not be looked at as a Hindu or a Muslim. A criminal is a criminal," Naqvi told the House.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad demanded Naqvi's apology for "misleading the House" and also sought action against the self-styled "gau rakshaks" who were harassing and killing people in the name of cow protection.
Congress MPs gathered near the Chairman's podium, demanding adjournment. However, Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien, presiding the proceedings, rejected the demand.
"One gets 14-day remand for slapping. But in this Rajasthan case, the accused was freed after a day. This government should take this House seriously," Azad said.
"This is undermining the position of the Rajya Sabha. Since the Alwar issue was raised yesterday (Thursday), the Home Minister should have come today (Friday)."
The lynching incident occurred on Saturday when a group of self-styled cow vigilantes allegedly attacked dairy farmer Pehlu Khan in Behror area of Alwar.
Khan was travelling in a truck with two cows and two calves. The attackers accused Khan of illegally smuggling cows for slaughter. However, his family said he had bought the animals for his small dairy business.
(With IANS inputs)