NEW DELHI – “We should not let Hindustan become “Lynchistan”, said Leader of Opposition, Mallikarjun Kharge, in the Indian Parliament as he initiated a debate in the Lower House of Parliament on Monday on mob lynchings in the name of cow protection across India.

While Congress accused the Narendra Modi-led government of encouraging organisations behind the violence in the garb of cow vigilantism, BJP slammed the opposition for repeatedly targeting it saying many cases cited by them are sub-judice, according to Indian Express.

Kharge said ‘Hindustan’ should not be allowed to become “Lynchistan”, stating that violence in the name of religion and cow protection began only after BJP assumed power.

“There is an atmosphere of fear and terror across the country, which has brought a bad name to India in the world,” said the leader. Holding Hindutva groups like Bajrang Dal and VHP responsible for the violence Kharge said, “Why are incidents of mob violence increasing so rapidly? Who is allowing groups such as the Bajrang Dal and VHP to flourish? It is also being done so that your ideology and philosophy could be established in the country,” the Congress leader said, pointing to the BJP’s “links” with these outfits.

He also read out a list of the attacks carried out in the name of cow vigilantism. He also said the states of Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh, where BJP governments were in power, have become hubs of mob lynching.

Persecution against minorities, particularly Muslims, has seen a rise in India under the current government of BJP with several cases going unaddressed properly. The main contention between the two groups originates from the Hindu teachings that deem eating beef an act of grave sin and even blasphemy. Whereas Muslims have demanded their right to live their lives according to Islamic dietary laws.