Gurgaon: Gau rakshaks, or cow protectors in Gurgaon, Haryana have applied for arms licenses citing security concerns.
According to them, an arms license is now a necessity for them as they are facing threats from armed cow smugglers.
They say that when they try to stop the cow smugglers at night, they are attacked with arms. The vigilantes claim that they have already been fired upon many times.
The head of the Haryana Gau Rakshak group, Dharmendra Yadav, said that cow smugglers work in groups of at least 10 and all of them are usually armed. He said he has already been a victim of attacks from these armed groups thrice and that is why he has applied for an arms license and sought police protection.
Vikrant Yadav was one such person who was murdered on August 24, 2013 for following these cow smugglers. Following his death, angry villagers created a ruckus by jamming railway tracks and burning vehicles.
In another incident that took place about a month and a half ago, some cow vigilantes were shot at in the Sohna and Pataudi areas.
Reports have also surfaced of cow saviors in Gurgaon allegedly targeting migrants and meat sellers over suspicions of them dealing in beef.
They however admit that certain miscreants are bringing a bad name to the entire community and agreed with Narendra Modi's remarks, who had said that 70-80 per cent of those who consider themselves 'gau rakshaks', are involved in activities which have no place in society and don the mantle of gau rakshaks to hide their evil or nefarious activities.
Gurgaon Police Commissioner Sandeep Khirwar has said that no person can be granted an arms license just on the issue of protecting themselves from cow smugglers.
He said inquiries are conducted as to why a person is applying for an arms license and whether he or she will be able to prevent the misuse of the arm, besides other factors. Once there is an all clear on all parameters being met, only then is an arms license is issued.
Yadav had applied for the license around a year ago, but is to receive it. He has written to the Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Khattar for help in ths regard.