What Supreme Court told Centre, states on cow vigilantism

By: | Published: September 6, 2017 2:03 PM

The Supreme Court of India today said cow vigilantism cannot be allowed in the country. It must stop.

supreme court, cow vigilantism, supreme court on cow vigilantism, gaurakshaks, gau rakshaks, cow vigilantesSupreme Court of India (PTI file)

In a clear signal to the Centre and states, the Supreme Court of India today said cow vigilantism cannot be allowed in the country. It must stop. The apex court directed all states to form a dedicated task force to deal with cow vigilantism within a week.

The apex court has asked each state to appoint a senior police officer in each district as nodal officer to take action against cow vigilantism. SC also said that the Central and state governments must take effective steps to stop cow vigilante groups from taking law in their hands.

The apex court direction came in response to a PIL filed by Tushar Gandhi, great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. The PIL had sought many reliefs, including a direction to all the governments to take preventive measures against cow vigilantism

The Supreme Court order comes in the wake of a number of killings by self-appointed cow vigilante groups in many states in last 1-2 years. Representing the Centre in Supreme Court, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the law is already there to take care of any kind of untoward incidents by the cow vigilante groups. However, Chief Justice Dipak Misra remarked, “We know laws are there, but what action has been taken? You can take planned action so that vigilantism does not grow.”

The apex court has also directed the chief secretaries of every state government to file a status report giving details of the actions taken to prevent incidents of cow vigilantism.

The SC direction was issued by a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and also comprising Justices Amitava Roy and A M Khanwilkar.

Cow vigilantes’ attacks

A study by IndiaSpend in July had revealed that Muslims were the target of 51% of violence centred on bovine issues over nearly eight years (2010 to 2017) and comprised 86% of 28 Indians killed in 63 incidents. As many of 97 per cent of these attacks were reported after BJP government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014, and about half the cow-related violence — 32 of 63 cases –were from states governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) when the attacks were reported, revealed our analysis of violence recorded until June 25, 2017, IANS had reported.

Of the 28 Indians who died over the seven-year period, 24 were Muslim, or 86 per cent. As many as 124 people were also injured in these attacks.

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