Punish those who take law in their hands: Home ministry on cow vigilantism

New Delhi : Two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concern over cow vigilantism, the Home Ministry on Tuesday issued an advisory to the states asking them to punish those taking the law in their hands in the name of protecting cattle.

“Recently, some incidents have been reported where certain persons or groups have taken law into their own hands in the name of protecting cows and have committed crimes in pursuance thereof. This is not an acceptable situation,” said the advisory.

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“The states are, therefore, enjoined upon, and expected, to ensure that any person who takes law into his/her own hands is dealt with promptly, and punished as per law. There should be no tolerance at all for such persons and full majesty of law must come to bear on them, without exception,” it added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called for protecting Dalits and for isolating and punishing fake “gau rakshaks” (cow protectors), saying they were destroying the country.

The advisory further said: “No person can, under any circumstances, take the law into their own hands.”

“In states where slaughter of cows is prohibited by law, such slaughtering would be in violation of law, and an offence. However, that does not entitle any individual or group of persons to take action on their own to prevent the alleged slaughter or punish the alleged wrong doers,” it read.

The advisory also said that “any person, or persons, doing so have to be dealt with strictly under the relevant laws, and brought to justice in the quickest possible fashion, for the strictest punishment.”