3 States Get Contempt Notice From Supreme Court On Cow Vigilantism

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NEW DELHI: Three states: Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have received a disrespect notice from the Supreme Court for allegedly not preventing incidents of surveillance of the cows despite an order last year to do so. The states will have to respond to the notification before April 3.

The Supreme Court notice came after a petition by Tushar Gandhi, who has been pursuing the matter since last year.

It was in response to his request that the superior court, on September 6, had asked 26 states to maintain law and order and avoid the violence of the cow guards. The states had been asked to delegate nodal officers and road patrol and keep the court informed of their progress.

The higher court also requested the Center, which had argued that law and order was a state matter, whether under the Constitution, it had the responsibility to ask states to take vigorous action against cow vigilance.

video by NDTV.

Days later, on September 26, a bank headed by Supreme Court president Dipak Misra stressed that compliance reports should be submitted. “Nobody can wash their hands (of their duty), we are going to give instructions to all the states,” the court said.

The first cows surveillance incident was reported by Dadri in Uttar Pradesh in 2015, in which an old man, Mohammad Akhlaq, was beaten to death following allegations that he had killed a cow.

In July of last year, four Dalit men were stripped, tied to a car and whipped in Gujarat. In Alwar, a 55-year-old dairy owner, Pehlu Khan, was beaten to death on suspicion of cattle smuggling. The video of Pehlu Khan being pulled by the neck, thrown to the ground and kicked by the cow guards, caused outrage throughout the country.

As reports of similar incidents from other states accumulated, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ministers condemned the vigilantism of the cows. “I have seen that some people are involved in crimes all night and wear the attire of gau rakshaks on the day,” the prime minister had said.