NEW DELHI: The Centre has asked states and Union Territories not to tolerate any incidents of attack on individuals in the name of cow vigilantism.
In its advisory issued to the Chief Secretaries, the Home Ministry said they are expected to ensure that any person who takes law into his hands, is dealt promptly and given strict punishment.
Referring to recent incidents of attacks in the name of cow protection, the ministry said the situation is not acceptable.
The advisory said the states where cow slaughter is prohibited, slaughtering would be in violation of law, but it does not permit any individual or group of persons to take action on their own to prevent the alleged slaughter or punish the alleged wrong doers.
The Home Ministry, however, said if any person is aware of the commission of the crime, he is required under the law to give information to the nearest Magistrate or police officer , but under no circumstances, he is allowed to take the law into his hands.
Last week Prime Minister Narendra Modi said most cow vigilantes were ‘anti-social’ elements masquerading as ‘gau rakshaks’ or cow protectors.
“It makes me angry that people are running shops in the name of cow protection… Some people indulge in anti-social activities at night and in the day masquerade as cow protectors,” he said while speaking at his first townhall-style address to mark the second anniversary of his government’s MyGov initiative in the national capital.
The Prime Minister’s comments come at a time when questions are being raised on his silence amid the spate of attacks, particularly in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, on Dalits, allegedly in the name of cow protection.
Following Prime Minister Modi’s statement, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Monday released a statement endorsing his position.
The statement condemned the attacks on Dalits, terming them ‘inhuman’ and asked states to take action against elements trying to ‘disturb communal harmony and trust’.
“We appeal to all sections to remain aware of elements who want to disturb the environment. We expect the administration to take speedy action against such individuals and groups who break the law,” said RSS general secretary Suresh Joshi in the statement.