Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on Friday said that every person has the right to eat beef, ANI reported. Coming down heavily on Gau Rakshaks, Athawale said that no one has the right to take law in his/her hands in the name of serving cows.The minister added that Gau Rakshaks should be awarded stringent punishment. “Aapko police ke paas jaane ka adhikaar hai kanoon haath mein lene ka adhikaar nahi. Gau rakshakon ko kathor saza milni chahiye (You have the right to go to the police, but you can’t take law into your own hands. Gaur Rakshaks should be awarded stringent punishment),” Athawale said. “Beef khaane ka sabko adhikaar hai. Gau raksha ke naam par nar bhakshak banna theek nahi hai (Everyone has the right to eat beef, turning man-eater in the name of Gau Raksha is also not right),” Athawale added. Athawale is also the chief of Maharashtra-based Republican Party of India (RPI). The statement comes at a time when there is series of lynching incidents have been reported in the name of cow protection. Recently, Junaid Khan, a 15-year-old boy, was lynched to death by a mob in Haryana’s Ballabhgarh on the charges of carrying beef. However, later it was turned out that Junaid and his two friends were allegedly beaten for not vacating their seats. The boys were allegedly called ‘beef-eaters’ by the mob. The incident made national news and snowballed into a big controversy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi too condemned the incident and said that violence in the name of ‘gau raksha’. “Killing people in the name of Gau Bhakti is not acceptable. This is not something Mahatma Gandhi would approve,” he tweeted. “Killing people in the name of cow is unacceptable. No one has the right to take the law into his/her hands. We belong to a land of non-violence. Violence is not the solution to any problem,” Modi added. In August last year, PM had condemned actions of cow vigilantes. “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,” PM Modi had said.