Senior Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi on Thursday courted controversy saying that the government should wake up before Muslims react to actions such as lynchings in the name of cow protection. The Maharashtra president of the SP was reacting to the brutal beating of 40-year-old in Nagpur on suspicion of carrying beef.
"Terrorism takes birth from atrocities and injustice and I fear that. If governments are silent on incidents. Clerics are dragged out of mosques and slapped. These things are being shown regularly. There will be reaction to such action. I am saying this very strongly, do not wait for the reaction. Take strong action as things are getting out of hand," Azmi said.
Azmi is known to make controversial statements from time to time and often face wrath of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders for his stand.
The MLA from Govandi in Mumbai also tweeted to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis saying that the government needs to come up with a harsh law for violence in the name of cow protection.
"Incident of Cow vigilantism in #Nagpur. This has to stop with immediate effect. Govt needs to come up with a harsh law for this.@Dev_Fadnavis," he said.
The SP leader was referring to an incident of cow vigilantism in Nagpur where a 40-year-old man, identified as Salim Ismail Shah, was assaulted by a mob over suspicion that he was carrying 15 kg beef. As soon as police learnt about the incident, they rushed to the rescue of Salim and admitted him to a hospital where he was given medical aid.
Shah, who claimed to an office bearer of BJP's minority wing, denied allegations that he was carrying beef. He said that he was carrying mutton for a function that the meat was not beef.