Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Wednesday said mob lynching incidents are given unnecessary importance and accused the Congress of making a mountain out of a molehill, ANI reported.

“If you talk about mob lynching, what was 1984 [anti-Sikh riots]?” Adityanath asked. “Law and order is a matter of state. The Congress’ intention to make mountain out of a molehill will not be successful.”

The chief minister further said the state government will provide protection to its residents, but it is also the responsibility of every individual to respect others’ sentiments. “Humans are important and cows are also important. Both have their own roles in nature. Everyone should be protected,” Adityanath was quoted as saying by ANI.

On July 20, a man was allegedly lynched in Alwar district of Rajasthan on the suspicion of cow smuggling. The local police are accused of delaying taking Rakbar Khan to hospital after finding him lying injured near Lalwandi village in Ramgarh tehsil.

The incident followed a spate of mob lynchings that has claimed over 20 lives in Maharashtra, Tripura, Assam, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka since March. In most of the cases, the mobs seem to have been incited by WhatsApp videos and messages asking people to beware of child kidnappers.

Last week, the Supreme Court asked the Parliament to consider creating a new penal provision to deal with incidents of vigilantism, saying that mobocracy cannot be allowed in society. “No citizen can take law into his hands nor become law unto himself,” the bench had said.

Adityanath also criticised Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s speech in the Lok Sabha on July 19 during the no-confidence debate. “The entire nation has already rejected Rahul Gandhi’s childish acts,” he said. “The no-confidence motion has exposed the Congress. The statements and acts of Opposition during the motion were immature and reveal their actual personality.”

Gandhi, after completing his speech in Parliament, had walked up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hugged him. As he returned to his seat, Gandhi was seen smirking and winking apparently at a party colleague.