President Pranab Muherjee on Saturday raised the matter of the spate in violent lynchings across the country. He was speaking at the launch of publication National Herald’s commemorative edition and new website. The Associated Journals Limited’s publication is currently under the Delhi Patiala Court’s scanner in connection with a case involving Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

Mukherjee inaugurated the event in the presence of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi. “We should ponder about this country when we see someone being lynched,” Mukherjee said during his address in a reference to the number of cow-related incidents of violence across the country. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led goverment has been criticised of doing very little to curb the increasing number of such incidents across the country.

Mukherjee said the vigilant citizens, intellectuals and media would serve as the most potent force against the forces of darkness. Congress President Sonia Gandhi in an apparent reference to the Modi government, said domestic misrule is as big a challenge as foreign misrule. “If we do not speak up, our silence would be taken as consent,” Sonia Gandhi said during her address. “Even in the darkest of hours, we must keep alive the idea of India.”

On Wednesday, citizens had participated in “Not In My Name” demonstrations across the country to protest against the recent spate of lynchings of Muslims and other incidents of communal and caste-based violence.

Earlier on Saturday, Delhi’s Patiala House Court issued notices to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, party Vice President Rahul Gandhi and others in connection with the National Herald case, ANI reported. The bench posted the matter for further hearing on July 22. The case is based on Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy’s plea seeking documents and balance sheets maintained by the Congress and party-run Associated Journals Limited.

The BJP leader had accused Sonia and her son Rahul Gandhi of conspiracy and cheating with the aim to acquire properties and assets owned by the National Herald newspaper.

According to the Swamy, the Gandhis provided an interest-free loan of Rs 90.25 crore to Associated Journals Limited, publisher of three newspapers, including the National Herald, and transferred the debt to a company called Young India Limited for Rs 50 lakh. Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are the major shareholders in Young India. The accused, including Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda, have refuted the allegations.