RSS chief wants law against cow slaughter

Bhagwat snubs vigilante groups for flouting law

RSS chief wants law against cow slaughter

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Sunday supported the clamour within saffron outfits for a national law against cow slaughter.

He, however, snubbed protection groups against taking the law into their hands as he said it “defames” the cause.

Speaking at an event to mark the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavir, Bhagwat termed cow slaughter a vice that must be eradicated, and advocated broad-basing of vigilante groups to save the bovine animal while “completely obeying the law and the Constitution”.

His comments come days after a Muslim was lynched by a cow protection group in Alwar, which had irked the Opposition in Parliament and the Union Human Rights Commission. The commission has sought a report from the BJP government in Rajasthan on the episode.

“Nothing should be done while protecting cows that hurts the belief of some people. Nothing should be done that is violent. It only defames the efforts of cow protectors... The work of cow conservation should be carried out while obeying laws and the Constitution,” Bhagwat told the gathering.

Passions among right-wing outfits have been roused since Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced the closure of illegal slaughterhouses. Since then, other BJP-ruled states like Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Haryana are trying to make punishment for killing of cows more harsh.

Interestingly, Bhagwat stressed that states where RSS functionaries are in power, hinting at BJP leaders with Sangh roots, have anti-cow slaughter laws. He hoped other states would follow suit with similar legislation, which will also accommodate local “complexities”.

The head of the BJP’s mentor organisation also stated that “there cannot be a law that says you do violence. It is impossible. I am confident that wherever RSS workers are in power, they will deal with local complexities and work in that direction”.

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