S C directs states to stop violence by cow vigilantes

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The Supreme Court on September 6 issued  directions to  states to put in place a mechanism to stop cow  vigilantes from taking  law in their hands and committing atrocities on people particularly those who are transporting animals from one place to another. The court was hearing a petition filed by Tushar Gandhi, the  great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi who argued that despite the Prime Minister’s warning to the so-called protectors of cows not to indulge  in  violence, several incidents were occurring in which innocent people were lynched  on this or that pretext.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra  and Justices Amitav Roy  and  A M Khanwilkar said states shall nominate a senior police  officer to ensure that vigilante groups do not behave as if  they are a law unto themselves. The erring people and  criminals should be arrested and prosecuted promptly. On behalf of the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and  Haryana solicitor general Tushar  Mehta assured the court that a task force would be deployed to prevent violent incidents and take action against cow vigilantes. The  court  gave one week to state government to submit their reports. Chief secretaries and police chiefs have been tasked with carrying out these directions. After hearing senior counsel Kapil Sibal, Indira Jaising  and others, the  bench  observed that although  the  centre  did make a statement that state governments were required to take action, the  untoward and  violent incidents were being reported till date. It means no mechanism was in  place by the state governments. Indira Jaising told  the court that at least 66 alleged incidents occurred in recent time.

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