New Delhi, July 12: Days after Union minister Jayant Sinha faced flaked from various quarters for garlanding eight convicts of a lynching episode in Jharkhand recently, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader on Wednesday in an apology of sort stated that he "expresses regret" over his conduct.
"I have said many times that the matter is still sub judice," Sinha was quoted as saying by PTI. "It won't be fair to talk on this. The law will take its own course. We have always worked towards punishing the guilty and sparing the innocent. If by garlanding them an impression has gone out that I support such vigilantism then I express regret over it."
The picture of Sinha with the eight convicts, who were allegedly involved in the lynching of a cattle trader in Jharkhand last year, went viral on social media recently. Along with the leaders of various opposition parties, Sinha's father, former Union minister and former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, lambasted the civil aviation minister for honouring the convicts who were allegedly involved in the dastardly act.
In fact, various groups have asked for the Union minister's resignation as his conduct is a violation of his constitutional responsibilities. Initially, after the uproar, Sinha maintained that he did nothing wrong and he respected the rule of law.
Taking to Twitter, Yashwant Sinha said, "Earlier I was the Nalayak Baap of a Layak Beta. Now the roles are reversed. That is twitter. I do not approve of my son's action. But I know even this will lead to further abuse. You can never win."
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday supported an online petition against Sinha that sought the withdrawal of his Harvard alumni status in the wake of his controversial act.
In the last few years, episodes of mob lynching have increased alarmingly under the Narendra Modi regime. Most of the lynching victims were Muslims.
Since the government is yet to release data on mob lynching, media reports say at least 62 people have been lynched since 2015. Out of the 62, 22 died in the last two months.
The latest case is the lynching of five men on suspicion of being child-lifters in Maharashtra's Dhule district. Before that three men were lynched in three different incidents in Tripura, again on suspicion of being child-lifters.