PIL in Supreme Court seeks ban on cow vigilantes

The bench asked the States to file their response to the PIL and posted it for further hearing on May 3.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to examine a writ petition filed by Congress leader, columnist and model Tahseen Poonawala to take immediate and appropriate actions against the Vigilantes in the garb of “Gau Rakshak Dals” (Cow Protection Groups) who have been spreading violence and committing atrocities against Dalits and Minorities in the name of protection of Cow and other bovine species. A Bench of Justices Dipak Misra and A.M. Kanwilkar, after hearing senior counsel Sanjay Hegde and counsel Shezad Poonawala issued notices to the Centre and six States of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Karnataka.

Mr. Hegde brought to the notice of a recent incident in Alwar in Rajasthan when a middle-aged man was beaten to death and wanted the court to ask Rajasthan to reply. The Bench did not give a specific direction but asked the States to file their response to the PIL and posted it for further hearing on May 3. In his petition, Poonawala has sought a ban on such groups on the ground that they were operating illegally in several parts of the country allegedly indulging and killing people in the name of protecting the cow. He likened the Gau rakshaks to the now disbanded “salwa judum” a similar vigilant groups, formed by Chattisgarh government by arming civilians to kill Maoists.

The petitioner alleged that some states like Gujarat, Haryana, MP and Maharashtra have given licences to these vigilante groups to check passing of trucks illegally smuggling cows. The gau rakshaks dals are in news for the past few months following a series of incidents in which beef-eaters and those purportedly indulging in cowmeat business have been targeted. Starting from Mohammad Akhlaque’s lynching in Uttar Pradesh for allegedly eating beef to the bashing up of a Dalit family in Gujarat for skinning a dead cow, the country has witnessed a spurt in such incidents.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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