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SC Cracks Down on Cow Vigilantism, Gives States 7 Days to Form Task Force

The Supreme Court has asked states to appoint senior policemen as nodal officers in the task force.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:September 6, 2017, 12:51 PM IST
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New Delhi: Coming down heavily on cow vigilantism, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered state governments to form a dedicated task force in every district to stop such acts of violence.

A bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, said that states shall nominate a senior police officer, preferably of the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police, to ensure that vigilante groups don't take the law into their hands or "behave as if they are law in themselves".

"The senior police officer shall take prompt action and will ensure vigilante groups and such people are prosecuted with quite promptitude," the bench said.

The court gave the state governments one week to submit their reports on nomination of police officers and the instructions issued to them.

Chief secretaries and police chiefs of the states have been tasked with carrying out these directions.

During the hearing, the bench observed that although the central government did make a statement in July that they don't support vigilantism and that the state governments are required to take action, some mechanism will have to be put in place to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising, arguing for a PIL filed by journalist Tushar Gandhi, had cited 66 alleged incidents of mob lynching and assaults in the name of cow vigilantism after the central government's undertaking in the court.

Responding, the court said: "Steps have to be taken to stop this…. Some kind of planned action is required so that vigilantism does not grow. Efforts have to be made to stop such vigilantism."

"How will they (states) do it, is their business but this must stop," it added.

Representing Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Haryana, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta recorded a statement on his own that these states shall repute nodal officers on their own.

The Supreme Court will now hear the case on September 22.

| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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