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Beat up cow smugglers but don’t break bones: VHP’s advice to ‘gau rakshaks’

NAGPUR: The VHP’s cow protection department has issued a list of dos and don’ts to young cow vigilantes on how to handle smugglers whose top motto seems to be: “Beat them up but don’t break bones”. Times of India reported that at a meeting of top gau rakshaks from Western UP, Braj region and Uttarakhand on Sunday, Khemchand, a member of the gau raksha department’s central committee, urged VHP workers to also enlist no-VHP members, so that “no cattle smuggler would dare” to carry out illegal trade. Khemchand also took a dig at PM Modi’s saying that “cow protection, not Make in India” would “save the country”.

He told an audience: “There was a lot of talk recently about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement on cow protection. I don’t agree with most of what he said, but I do agree that we shouldn’t take the law into our hands. I often say to my workers— maaro magar haddi mat todo (beat them up but don’t break their bones). If you break someone’s bones then you will get into trouble with the police. Some people show off by shooting viral videos of them beating up cattle smugglers. There is no need for them to do that.”

When later asked about his statement, he told TOI: “I only meant that they (gau rakshaks) should defend themselves when faced with a difficult situation. Most people don’t know about the danger that our workers face. So many workers have been martyred for the cause of the cow. What else could they do when they are faced with armed cattle mafia? The only thing they have to defend themselves is a lathi and the smugglers have guns. If a cattle smuggler sustains serious injuries, even when my boys are protecting themselves, cops target VHP workers.”

Earlier, PM Modi’s statement against cow vigilantes was met with disdain from various right-wing organisations. ABHM national president Chandraprakash Kaushik told CNN-News 18: “Narendra Modi is not worthy of being Prime Minster. He will return just like Vajpayee had to in 2004. Hindu Mahasabha is holding Buddhi Shuddhi Yaga across India to give better sense to the PM.” ABHM chief Swami Chakrapani, said, “We condemn the Prime Minister’s statement on those who devoted their life to preventing cow slaughter in India.” Meanwhile, a Gau Raksha Dal (Cow Protection Group) in Mysuru wrote to the PM demanding a central anti-cow slaughter act and stronger laws against those flouting the norm.

Modi had said: “The people, who are troubled by the unity of the society, are in the name of ‘gau rakshaks’ attempting to create friction the society. I urge my fellow countrymen to be aware of such ‘gau rakshaks.”

He had further said, “I am very much angry on those who have opened their occupation in the name of ‘Gau Raksha’ (cow protection). There are many ‘Gau Rakshaks’ (cow protectors). They protect cows to hide their illegal occupations. Cows mostly die of eating plastic bags and these gau rakshaks should urge people not to throw plastics on the roads. This will be a big sewa.”

With inputs from agencies