Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi asserted on Wednesday that Dalits and minorities are safe in the country after a group of eminent citizens wrote to the prime minister expressing concern over lynching incidents, and said those "yet to recover from" the defeat in the Lok Sabha polls are trying to communalise "criminal incidents".
The letter, signed by 49 celebrities from various fields, including film-makers Shyam Benegal and Aparna Sen, stated, "The lynching of Muslims, Dalits and other minorities must be stopped immediately."
Union minority affairs Minister Naqvi said, "No one should communalise criminal incidents. Dalits and minorities are safe in this country. Those who are yet to recover from the defeat of 2019 Lok Sabha polls are trying to do it."
"We have seen the same thing after 2014 (elections) in the name of 'award wapsi', this is just part two of that," the minister said, referring to the protest by writers against the government's alleged silence on violence and rising intolerance.
In order to deal with such crimes, law enforcement agencies and state governments have taken effective and strong actions, the minister said.
"But a few people, who claim to be custodian of human rights and secularism, are trying to communalise such type of criminal incidents," Naqvi said.
These people are yet to come out of the "depression" after the resounding victory of Modi for a second time and has started the "second edition of award wapsi" movement, he said.
"I want to clearly state that minorities and Dalits are safe in our country. Their socio-economic, religious rights are completely secured. It is proved by the fact that not a single major communal riot took place under the Modi government," he said.
The July 23 letter to the prime minister also stressed that there is "no democracy without dissent".
The signatories said they regretted that "Jai Shri Ram" has been reduced to a "provocative war cry that leads to law and order problems, and many lynchings take place in its name".
It is shocking, they said, that so much violence should be perpetrated in the name of religion.
The signatories to the letter also include Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee, southern film-maker-actor Revathy, social activist Binayak Sen and sociologist Ashis Nandy.