The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to examine acts of cow vigilantism across the country in different states and directed the states and Central government to respond to PILs filed against the practice.
A number of PILs were filed by political leaders and activists in High Courts across the states and in Supreme Court demanding strong action against the cow vigilantes. One such PIL was filed by Congress leader Tehseen S Poonawalla in Supreme Court in August this year.
The PIL alleged that cow vigilantes were spreading hatred against certain sections in the society like Dalits and minorities.
Reports of violence against individuals have surfaced from different parts of the country where people were targeted over suspicion of consuming beef or transporting cows.
Last year, Mohammad Akhlaq of Dadri in Uttar Pradesh was beaten to death by an enraged mob after he was accused of consuming cow meat. The laboratory tests later proved that the claim was false. In a recent incidence, four Dalit youths were flogged by ‘gaurakshaks’ for skinning a dead cow.
Both the incidents, along with several others, paved the way for public anger to manifest itself and led to massive protests across the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also declared the cow vigilantes as people who were ‘destroying the society’.