In a controversial statement that has attracted a great deal of attention, Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former mayor of Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, Shakuntala Bharti, has suggested that mob attacks are acceptable in certain situations.

In a video shot during her meeting in a police station with her supporters, Bharti can be heard saying that she would not be responsible if people took the law into their hands if anyone was found transporting beef.

In the video below (2.17 onwards), Bharti can be heard complaining about how Muslims eat meat even while fasting during the month of Ramzan. According to the Hindustan Times, Bharti made these statements after cow vigilantes intercepted a vehicle in Aligarh on May 28 on the suspicion that it was transporting beef.

Joining a debate on the television news channel Mirror Now over the phone, Bharti said that her other statements about “breaking people’s bones” were meant for those who troubled women, and not for any particular religion or community. When Mirror Now news anchor Faye D’Souza suggested that Bharti should abide by the Indian Penal Code and lodge a complaint with the police rather than instructing people to take action based on presumptions, Bharti refused to budge and said she stood by her statement.