Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's impassioned speech against self-styled cow vigilantes, the centre has asked all states to take prompt action against those who take the law into their hands in the name of protecting cows.
The advisory from the Home Ministry came two days after PM Modi urged people to beware of 'fake' protectors of cows, who are trying to divide the society and the country.
The advisory said that cattle have a venerated status in Indian culture and history and recalled Mahatma Gandhi words: "cow protection to me is not mere protection of cow, it means protection of that (which) lives, is helpless and weak in the world".
"Recently, some incidents have been reported where certain persons or groups have taken law into their hands in the name of protecting cows and have committed crimes in pursuance thereof. This is not an acceptable situation. The states are, therefore, enjoined upon, and expected to ensure that any person who takes law into his/ her own hands is dealt with prompt, and punished as per law. There should be no tolerance at all for such persons and full majesty of law must come to bear on them, without exception," the advisory said.
The advisory said that no person can, under any circumstances, take the law into their hands and any person, or persons, doing so have to be dealt with strictly under the relevant laws, and brought to justice in the quickest possible fashion, for the strictest punishment.
The central government initiative came at a time when the Modi government and BJP are facing flak over incidents of violence against Dalits and Muslims by cow vigilantes in various states including Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
--With PTI inputs