Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot depends Gau rakshaks by saying social organisation

NEW DELHI: Amid calls for action against gau rakshaks over the recent attack on Dalits in Gujarat, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot said on Wednesday that they are like any other social organisations that are formed for a cause. He, however, added that such cow vigilante groups should verify rumours before taking action.

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New Delhi: Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Thawar Chand Gehlot speaks in Lok Sabha during the second day of winter session of Parliament in New Delhi on Friday. PTI Photo
“There is a law prohibiting cow slaughter. The Centre has it, so do the states, and there are rules too. Laws are in place but what can one do about rumours… These are all social organisations. It could be for gau raksha sewa dal, it could be for eliminating social evils, people keep forming these social groups and doing things. Someone may have informed them (about cow slaughter) and they would have rushed. What they need to do is find out its veracity and then go,” Gehlot told The Indian Express, replying to a question on whether the Centre plans to step in and crack down on gau rakshaks.
“Like the incident in Gujarat, where people were merely skinning a dead cow, but it was rumoured that they killed the cow for the meat. In Dadri also, the same thing happened, but there it turned out to be true, they had cow meat. These days, on any sensitive issue, rumours are easily sparked off, people don’t ask for proof before reacting,” he said.
On July 11, a group of gau rakshaks flogged seven Dalits in Una town of Gujarat after accusing them of slaughtering a cow. In September last year, Mohammad Akhlaq, 50, was lynched by a mob in Dadri following reports of beef consumption.