An intervention by Tushar Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s great-grandson, asked about the lack of responsibility and accountability shown by the Centre and State administrations even as cow vigilantes wrecked havoc and resorted to murder in broad daylight in the name of the cow.
Senior advocate Indira Jaisingh on behalf of Mr Gandhi, appearing saying that there had been more than 60 incidents across India where people had been assaulted and even eaten to death after allegations that they had killed cows or were in possession of beef.
- In 2015 the first incident of cow vigilantism was reported from Dadri in Uttar Pradesh in which an elderly man, Mohammad Akhlaq, was beaten to death after allegations that he had killed a cow.
- In July last year, four Dalit men were stripped, tied to a car and flogged in Gujarat.
By focusing upon the issues on Wednesday the Supreme Court asked all States and Union Territories to appoint nodal police officers district-wise to crackdown and prosecute cow vigilante groups who engage in violence and mayhem.
As the Centre said ending vigilantism and violence by cow protection groups is a ‘State subject’ on the previous hearing, and the Centre has no role to play, though it condemns all forms of violence. A bunch of petitions led by Congress activist Tehseen Poonawalla had sought criminal action against cow vigilante groups whose recent rampages and lynchings have seen communal tensions rise in the country.
The Central and State govetnment sought a direction by the petitions to pull down all the videos of violence uploaded by cow vigilante groups from social media sites.
Four BJP-ruled States namely
Have accepted the apex court’s suggestion for “taking the law or becoming the law unto themselves,” appoint dedicated nodal police officers in the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) to prevent cow vigilantes or gau rakshaks.
A three-judge Bench of Chief Justive Dipak Misra, Amitava Roy, and A.M. Khanwilkar was on hearing, As per Tushar Gandhi, especially in the northern States, who call themselves protectors of cows or gau rakshaks have been harasshing the Dalits and Muslims, they have been receiving an unending rash of violence unleashed by lynch mobs.
Under Article 256 The court directed to instruct the States to take “necessary” steps in law to save innocent human lives from fury of the mobs, the Centre to respond to a submission by senior advocate Indira Jaising for Mr. Gandhi that the Centre cannot wash their hands off its constitutional responsibility.
Mr. Gandhi in the spirit of “co-operative federalism” has asked the court about it and the court said the Centre should reply to this argument made by him, “The Centre cannot turn its back on the violence. Non-violence is the founding faith of this country. The States have the responsibility to lodge FIRs against these vigilantes,” Ms. Jaising submitted.
Chief Justice Misra told Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, You have to stop it (violence),” appearing for the four northern States.
Mr. Mehta will be taking instructions from the Centre that the court has asked him to specify its role under Article 256 and the steps it would take from its side to prevent any future incidents of violence.
Ms. Jaising said, by Pointing out that most of the violent incidents had occurred on highways, the States should take steps to initiate highway patrolling.
The Centre shall also indicate its views on this issue.The court directed the Chief Secretaries and the Director Generals of Police (DGP) of States to consult each other and respond to the court. The court posted the case for hearing on September 22.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his union ministers issued strong statements against cow vigilantism, as per reports of similar incidents from other states has been laso piled up, Condemning cow vigilantes, looking upon the rudity PM Modi said, “There have seen that some people are into crimes all night and wear the garb of gau rakshaks in the day”.
The court had appoint a senior police officer as Nodal officer in every district to ensure that vigilante groups don’t take law into their handshas asked in all the states to protect people. bureaucrats in every state has also directed the seniormost to ensure highway petrolling to prevent such incidents.