Bhopal: Two men from Agar Malwa district of Madhya Pradesh have been booked under under the National Security Act (NSA) for alleged illegal transportation of cattle and disruption of public peace, a police official said on Friday.
The incident comes close on the heels of the Kamal Nath-led government invoking the stringent NSA against three persons accused of cow slaughter in Khandwa district.
"The two accused –M ehboob Khan, a resident of Lambikheda in Ujjain district, and Rodumal Malviya of Agar Malwa, were arrested on Thursday under the NSA for transporting cows illegally and disrupting public peace," Kotwali police station in-charge Ajit Tiwari said.
After their arrest, a court sent the duo to the central jail in Ujjain, he added.
According to police, Agar Malwa town had witnessed tension on January 29 in the bus stand area when the two accused were carrying cows in their vehicles. People had protested against them, after which the market was shut. The duo was later booked by the police.
"They were found to be involved in such activities in the past as well, which had led to disruption of peace in the area," Tiwari said.
The NSA was invoked against them by District Collector Ajay Gupta after Agar Malwa's Superintendent of Police (SP) Manoj Kumar Singh sent a report on the matter.
"In the past, four cases of illegal transportation of cows were registered against Mehboob and three cases against Rodumal, because of which the administration imposed the NSA against them," he said.
Application of the draconian law, which provides for sweeping powers of arrest and preventive detention, signals political posturing by the Congress government in the state ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
The potential offences under NSA are vaguely defined, from “acting in a manner prejudicial to the defence of India” to threatening public order. Those arrested under the law may be detained without a charge for up to a year.
The Congress has defended its use, and said that the state government was particularly sensitive to “cow-related issues”. It has also enacted a number of policies for “cow welfare” since coming to power.
Talking to reporters in Mandsaur two days back in connection with the Khandwa case, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh had said it is the police who decide which sections should be applied and invoking the NSA appeared unnecessary in that case.