NHRC wants strict action against cow vigilantes

Says self-proclaimed volunteers creating fear

NHRC wants strict action against cow vigilantes

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday came down heavily on cow vigilantes, saying self-proclaimed volunteers are creating an atmosphere of fear by taking the law into their hands.

The NHRC said the state has the responsibility to remain vigilant to prevent such activities and the offenders should be dealt with strictly. The NHRC’s remarks came as it sought a report from Rajasthan over the murder of a man by suspected cow vigilantes in Alwar and asked the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to explain the measures taken to deal with such incidents.

“The commission has observed that the contents of the media reports are painful. This is a serious issue of violation of human rights of the victims. Self-proclaimed volunteers creating an atmosphere of fear in society by taking the law into their hands are required to be dealt with strictly as per law,” it said.

The NHRC said the incident was not the first of its kind. In a similar incident in Gujarat, four Dalit boys, possessing beef, were severely beaten up in July 2016. The commission said it has issued a notice to the chief secretary of Rajasthan asking for a detailed report in the matter.

“A notice has also been issued to the Union home secretary, calling for a response as to what steps have been taken or proposed to be taken by the Centre to deal with such incidents in the country. The response is expected within four weeks,” an NHRC spokesperson said.

The commission said a group of “cow vigilantes” attacked some people on the pretext that they were cattle smugglers, though they were dairy farmers carrying cows legally purchased under a receipt and stamp of the Jaipur Municipal Corporation. The assault resulted in the death of a person. However, the Rajasthan Police have registered an FIR against the victims for illegally transporting cattle for slaughter, it said, quoting media reports.

“Reportedly, the family members of the deceased, a dairy farmer, stated that the victims showed the attackers the receipt of legally purchased cows but they continued to thrash them. They snatched their wallets and cash, about Rs 1 lakh, as well as mobile  phones,” the NHRC said.

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