RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday hit out at cow vigilantes saying there was a need to distinguish between gau-rakshaks and troublemakers. Bhagwat was addressing volunteers at the organisation’s headquarters in Nagpur on the occasion of Vijaydashmi and the 91st anniversary of ‘sangh’.
Addressing the cadre, Bhagwat said: “Gau mata hai aur uski raksha karne wale sabhi gaurakshak bhale hain jo kanoon aur samvidhan ki maryada me reh kar kaam karte hain” (cow is our mother and all gaurakshaks working to protect her are good people. They work within the legal and contitutional framework). Bhagwat said that there were laws in different states attributed towards protection of cows. However, he also said that there were some miscreants who cause trouble in the name of gauraksha and there was a need to separate them from the ‘gausevaks’.
There have been several incidents in the recent past where ‘gaurakshaks’ or cow vigilantes are seen beating up people over allegations/suspicion of consuming cow meat. Earlier this year, Mohammad Akhlaq of Dadri in Uttar Pradesh was lynched by an enraged mob after rumours of him consuming beef spread. It was found to be incorrect as the meat sample was tested in a laboratory.
Three Dalit youth were also flogged with iron rods by a group of ‘gau rakshaks’ in Gujarat’s Una after they were caught skinning a dead cow. This led to a massive protest by Dalit community post which they refused to dispose off the carcasses of dead cows, a duty which is performed by the Dalit community.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also condemned the acts of violence perpetrated against other in the name of cow protection.