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Supreme Court agrees to examine cow vigilantism across the country

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday has decided to examine the acts of so-called cow vigilantes, who are allegedly spreading violence and committing atrocities against Dalits and minorities across the country.

The court asked Rajasthan, Gujarat, UP, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Karnataka and the Centre to respond to public interest litigations (PILs) filed against the practice, which has recently been on the rise.

The petitions said that self-styled “gau rakshaks” spreading hate against minorities and dalits, and sought the Supreme Court’s intervention. One of the PILs in the matter was filed by Congress leader Tehseen S Poonawalla, The Indian Express reported.

On August 6, PM Modi responded to the incident and called such cow vigilante groups as “anti-socials,” “Gau rakshaks indulge in anti-social activities, cow vigilantism is just a ruse to hide their misdeeds” and said “opportunistic people are trying to poison social harmony in the name of cow protection”.

Incidents of violence by self-styled “gau rakshaks” against minorities and Dalits had kicked up a storm in recent times.

Last year, 52-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq of Dadri in UP was lynched to death by a mob of at least 100 over rumours that he had stored beef.

In July, four Dalit youths who were tanners from Una district were beaten up by ‘gaurakshaks’ for skinning a dead cow.