NEW DELHI: Centre on Friday informed the Supreme Court that though it condemns all forms of vigilantism but it has no role to curb the violence by cow protection groups as law and order is a state subject.
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar appearing on behalf of Centre told the bench that, “It is a State subject. Union of India has no role to play.”
He also informed the court that statement with this effect has also been made in Parliament on Thursday and arrests have been made in every State for each incident of violence that has taken place.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in June, had condemned the attacks in the name of cow vigilantism saying, “Killing people in the name of cow is unacceptable. No one has the right to take law into his/her hands. We belong to a land of non-violence. Violence is not the solution to any problem.” However, a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra asked Centre and states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh to file their affidavits in four weeks time and asking it to explain what it proposes to do to control the menace of cow vigilantism while slating the hearing for September 6.
The court’s direction came on batch of petitions led by Tehseen Poonawalla demanding criminal action against cow vigilante groups because of which India is seeing rise in communal tensions.
The petition also cited other cases of violence over alleged cow slaughter or smuggling, including lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri in 2015.
50-year-old, Pehlu Khan died on Monday in Alwar, Rajasthan, after being brutally beaten up by a group of self-proclaimed 'gau rakshaks'.
The petition also sought immediate action against Cow Protection Groups indulging in violence and appeals to court to issue directions to remove violent content uploaded on social media platforms by such groups.