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Contempt notice to Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh over cow vigilantism

Monday January 29, 2018 6:06 PM, & Agencies

Cow Vigilantism

New Delhi:
The Supreme Court on Monday issued contempt notice to Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for failing to stop incidents of cow vigilantism despite the apex court's order last year. The Supreme Court of India while issuing notices to the three states asked them to reply by September 3.

The Supreme Court had in September 2017 ordered state governments to form a dedicated task force in every district to stop violence in the name of cow.

The Apex Court had also directed the states to nominate a senior police officer, preferably of the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police, to ensure that vigilante groups don't take the law into their hands.

A PIL in the case was filed by journalist Tushar Gandhi, who had cited 66 alleged incidents of mob lynching and assaults in the name of cow vigilantism.

The Supreme Court of India had on April 07 last year issued notice to Narendra Modi government in New Delhi and other state governments, including six BJP-ruled states, on a petition asking for a ban on Gau Rakshaks - the Cow Vigilantes involved in several attacks on animal transporters and farmers.

The first incident of cow vigilantism was reported from Dadri in Uttar Pradesh in 2015 when Mohammad Akhlaq, father of an engineer working for Indian Air Force, was beaten to death after allegations that he had killed a cow.

In April 2017, Pehlu Khan, a 55-year-old farmer from Haryana, was also murdered by cow protectors in Rajasthan while transporting cows legally purchased from a market in Jaipur.

Junaid, a 15-year-old Muslim from Haryana, was stabbed to death by a mob on a train over the suspicion that he was carrying beef on July 22, 2017. Junaid was murdered when he was returning home after Eid shopping.

A later survey showed that 11 deaths were reported in 2017, the highest toll from cow-related hate crimes since 2010. The survey also showed that 76% or 13 of 17 cow-related hate crimes were reported from Northern India till 2015. Since then, during 2016 and 2017 to-date, more incidents have been reported from the East, West and South of the country.

"From 2012 until today, 78 cow-related hate crimes have been reported across the country. Most of these–97% of all incidents–have occurred over the last three years since the Bharatiya Janata Party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed power in May 2014", the survey report said.

"Only one incident each was reported in 2012 and 2013", the report added.

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