Jharkhand Food Minister Saryu Rai Thursday said the recent lynching of a Muslim man in the state was a "stray" incident and steps will be taken to ensure such crime does not occur.
Condemning the incident, he said the state government's endeavour would be to address the gaps in the law and order implementation.
Tabrez Ansari, 24, was allegedly tied to a pole and thrashed with sticks by a mob at Dhatkidih village in Jharkhand's Seraikela Kharsawan district last Wednesday on the suspicion of theft. The newly-married man was purportedly seen in a video being forced to chant "Jai Shri Ram" and "Jai Hanuman". He succumbed to injuries on Saturday.
"This is a stray incident. We condemn it and an enquiry should be conducted," Rai told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting with Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan here.
The law and order situation has not failed in the state but the gaps have to be addressed collectively. One should not take law in their hands, he said.
Rai said, "When such incidents occur, we need to accept that there is some shortcoming. We have to address this gap collectively. The law and order should improve and that would be our endeavour."
The state's reputation is hit when lynching incidents are advertised, he said, adding that there is a need to create legal awareness.
He also accused the opposition of being weak. "Our problem is that the opposition is sleeping. It is not responsible," he said.
Earlier in the meeting, Rai discussed with Paswan about providing ration cards as per the latest population census, increasing foodgrains allocation under the Public Distribution System (PDS) to 7-8 kg from current 5 kg to each beneficiary and supplying sugar to all ration card holders.
"At present, 2.64 crore individuals have ration cards in the state as per the 2011 census. But the National Food Security Act has a provision to give ration card as per the 2019 census. We have requested the Centre to look into this," he said.
Government-think tank Niti Aayog estimates 15 per cent increase in population every year. Accordingly, the centre should allow the state government to issue ration cards, he said.
"We have a ration card application from 8.35 lakh families. If the centre allows, we can give ration card to all beneficiaries," he added.
With regard to the supply of sugar under the PDS, the Jharkhand minister said it is currently given to AAY (Antodaya Anna Yojana) cardholders. "I have requested the minister to give it to all beneficiaries," he said.
The state has also asked the Centre to increase the foodgrain quota from 5 kg to 7-8 kg to each beneficiary for one year and review thereafter depending on the availability of foodgrain.