The Supreme Court, on April 7 ordered for a ban on self-styled gau rakshak dals and served notice upon the Union government and the governments of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Karnataka to implement this ban.
The apex court was reacting to a PIL filed by social activist Tehseen Poonawala against the cow vigilante groups taking the law into their hands without any authority and creating disharmony among various communities, castes and indulging in mob violence.
Arguing for the petitioner, senior advocate Sanjay Hegde told Justice Dipak Misra that people were being attacked by these vigilante groups on a regular basis and the court needs to intervene and direct the state governments not to give protection to these groups.
Poonawala had moved the court last year asking for a ban on vigilante groups blamed for attacks on Dalits and minorities in the name of cow protection.
“… The menace caused by the so-called cow protection groups is spreading fast to every nook and corner of the country and is creating disharmony among various communities and castes,” the petition said.
Last Saturday, a mob of 200 brutally attacked a group that was on its way home to Haryana after buying cows at a Jaipur fair. One of the men, Pehlu Khan, a 55-year-old diary owner, died on Tuesday night.
The petitioner submitted that in most of the cases, the police and other law enforcement agencies were either complicit with these groups or merely mute spectators.
The action of these groups infringes the personal liberty of the victim. The actions of public flogging, urinating on the victims, forcing them to eat cow dung, takes away the rights to life and personal liberty.
—By India Legal Bureau