Cow vigilantism: SC asks Centre, six states to respond in three weeks

New Delhi [India], Apr 7 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre and the governments of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra to respond within three weeks on the issue of violence perpetrated across the country by gau rakshaks in the name of cow vigilantism.

Shehzad Poonawalla, the petitioner, said the entire argument was based on Article 21, which says that the rule of law has to be maintained and one cannot take the law into their own hands.

"The honourable Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Central Government and to six state governments which include Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra on the issue of violence perpetrated across the country by gau rakshaks in the name of cow vigilantism. The Supreme Court has given the Central Government and the state governments' three weeks to respond," said Poonawalla while highlighting the latest incident in Alwar, Rajasthan, where a man was beaten to death.

"The Centre and the state governments are going slow on the guilty in this regard. What we want is that these state governments should take action and crackdown these vigilante groups," he said.

Poonawalla further said his council urged that certain acts, which provide legal sanction to the gau rakshaks should be struck down as unconstitutional, adding the content on social media which is circulated by the cow vigilant groups should be removed.

Earlier in the day, as a united opposition slammed the government in the Rajya Sabha for doing nothing against the cow vigilante groups beating up people in order to protect cows from smuggling, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi denied the occurrence of any such incident and said that it did not happen.

"This is a sensitive issue. A message should not go that we are supporting cow slaughter. Such an incident did not happen on the ground. The state government has denied the report. But let this House not send a message that it supports cow slaughter," Naqvi said.

The Rajya Sabha is witnessing unruly scenes over the lynching of a 55-year-old man by alleged cow vigilantes in Alwar, Rajasthan. (ANI)