Police on Saturday stopped a rally organised by local cow protection groups, under the banner of ‘Gau Raksha Hindu Ekta Sanstha’, at Achheja village in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri district. This comes nearly two months after 50-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq was beaten to death following rumours of beef consumption in Bisara village in Dadri, about 10 kms away from Achheja .
On Saturday morning, members of cow protection groups were stopped by the local administration from going ahead with a rally in Achheja village, on the grounds that its organisers had not sought requisite permission for the event.
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“They had not been given permission to take out a rally. We have informed them that such an event cannot be conducted without the administration’s permission. They said they will seek permission in the future. Today, the rally cannot take place,” said Rajesh Kumar Singh, Dadri’s sub-divisional magistrate (SDM). Singh had reached the village at about 11 am, accompanied by senior police officials.
But the chief of Gau Raksha Dal — a local cow protection group — claimed that permission for the rally had been sought earlier this month.
Alleging that the administration was partial, Ved Nagar said, “We had written to the district administration on November 4, informing them about the rally. We did not receive any reply. How can they deny permission when the rally was just about to start? The administration has an issue only when we plan events.”
Days after Akhlaq’s lynching, these cow protection groups had tried to organise a meeting in Dadri, but the administration had denied permission for it.
“We didn’t raise objections then because we understood the atmosphere was tense. We had been asked to postpone the meeting by a couple of months and we agreed. Even now, we have assured the SDM that we will not hold meetings in any village. We are not even visiting villages like Bisara. This is not a political rally. We want to make people, especially farmers, aware of the importance of cows. This is a social concern,” said Nagar.
Elaborating on the reasons for organising the rally, Nagar said, “We want the government to declare gau mata as the national animal… strict laws against cow slaughter should be made. We want all members of sanatan Hindu dharm to come together on these issues.”