The Gujarat HC Wednesday issued notice to the state government on a PIL seeking direction to the government for systemic disposal of animal carcasses, including cows, and pro-active action against gau rakshaks to avoid incidents like the flogging of Dalits in Una.
A division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and justice V M Pancholi issued notice to the state government and other agencies, returnable on September 7. The PIL has been filed by advocate Ratna Vora who also runs an NGO, Ambedkar Karwan, that works for Dalits. She said there was no circular or guideline issued by the government to village panchayats to ensure proper disposal of dead animals under Gujarat Panchayats Act-1993.
Vora also sought action from the state home department to stop “unlawful activities done by hooligans in the name of gau raksha”. She has cited media interview of former chief secretary G R Aloria who had said that “in the name of gau raksha hooliganism was going on in state”.
The PIL mentions the incident of cow vigilantes attacking Dalits of Mota Samadhiyala village in Una for allegedly skinning a dead cow. “The Gujarat Animal Preservation Act, 1954, amended hurriedly in 2011 provides protection to the cows that they can never be slaughtered, but failed to provide any direction to the administration as to what should be done to the dead cows,” the PIL says. It adds, “As per section 99 of the Gujarat Panchayats Act, 1993, such panchayat is duty bound to make provisions for the matters specified in schedule 1 wherein clause 1(g) deals regarding the systematic disposal of carcasses.”