Cow vigilantism incidents continue to go unchecked in northern India Month on month the incidents are only on the rise and lead to violence

28, Mar 2023 | CJP Team

Despite the twin murders in Rajasthan that shook the consciousness of the nation apart from striking terror in the Muslim community, cow vigilantism in barbaric forms continues with law enforcement agencies complicit in their failure to protect lives and property. Such incidents are on the rise in northern India.

There have been demands to enact a law making lynching an offence under the penal code, however there appears to be no legislative will around this demand. Instead, cow vigilante groups in states like Haryana get sanction from the government and the law enforcement alike, further encouraging them to harass, threaten, assault the marginalised and the minorities under the pretext of protecting cows.

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As the month of March draws to an end,  we bring to you a low down on such  unrelenting incidents of cow vigilantism, who thrive mainly in the northern parts of the country.

Here are the incidents of cow vigilantism, our team has gathered through meticulous monitoring, each day:

A video surfaced today, March 27, from Krishnapura area of Panipat, Haryana where Gau Raksha Dal members along with BJP councilor Ashok Chhabra went around putting the shutter down on meat shops during Navratri. The person recording the video also said that they were about to submit a memo to the Police to get meat shops closed during the nine days when Hindus are celebrating Navratri. They went around the area forcing all meat shops to shut shop. In some videos it was seen that they were even accompanied by minors. It is pertinent to note that these vigilantes proudly shoot such videos of threatening people to submit to their commands and brazenly put them up and share them on social media. They were telling these shopkeepers to pull the shutter during Navratri and on Tuesdays as well.

Such acts are a common occurrence  in Haryana where cow vigilantism related violence is quite rampant and where these Gau Rakshaks have been seemingly given a free hand. On March 5, too, a video of a truck driver allegedly smuggling cows surfaced and a picture of his bare body was seen along with it: it is clearly visible he was beaten black and blue, with various injury marks, on allegations of cow smuggling.

On March 7, 20 days back, a video surfaced with a ghastly image, of a man with a bloodied face, completely distraught. These ‘Gau Rakshaks’ raise slogans of ‘Jai Gomata ki’, ‘Jai Shree Ram’ as they threaten and assault truck drivers, van drivers, who are allegedly smuggling cows. It is never found eventually and neither do these Gau Rakshak goons care to find out for what reason these cows are being transported. They are usually seen in these videos chasing down trucks and vans carrying cows and releasing them and claiming that the cows were being smuggled. In this video the Gau Rakshaks even came together and raised slogan “Gai kaatne walo ke Haath kaat do saalo ke (Cut those hands which cut the cows)”

On March 7, at a toll plaza in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, a truck was stopped by some goons, while they recorded the video. The gang was seen beating up the truck driver mercilessly with sticks as he was trying to escape.

This virus of cow vigilantism appears to have spread to the capital as well as a video surfaced from Bhajanpura, New Delhi. On March 13, some cow vigilantes recorded a video of questioning a couple of young boys and slapping one of them. The fear is clearly visible on their faces and how intimidated they are by their interrogators. The boys were claiming that they were taking the cows to a dairy and they were then slapped and verbally abused while the other boy was weeping and pleading to them that they are both innocent.

Amidst incidents of cow vigilantism are also people that lend complete support to such violent acts. This Far right priest Swami Anand Swaroop is heard saying that if someone kills a cow and he gets lynched then its completely justified and says that Muslim community itself should prohibit and punish such acts.

Besides, organised Mahapanchayats In support of cow vigilantes, are also organised with systematic design  by these Gau Raksha Dals and related organisations, spreading the message and justifying lynching in the name of cow protection and spreading hatred against the Muslim community among the youth.

Many such Mahapanchayats were also held across villages in Haryana in support of well known cow vigilante Monu Manesar when he was a suspect in the case where two Muslim boys (Junaid and Nasir) from Rajasthan were killed as their charred bodies were found in a burnt vehicle in Haryana.

In early March we gave a detailed account of such incidents that had taken place in February demonstrating the terror of cow vigilantes and the brazenness of those who support them as well.

Despite the frequency of such attacks, no action from the law enforcement or the state governments has been forthcoming to put a stop to such crimes that are carried out amidst much noise and many a times, with the knowledge of the police, or even with the help of the police.


Under the guise of cow protection: reports of assault, illegal restraint against Muslims

Worsening Spiral of Communal Hate: State’s role in rising violence against minorities

The threat and lawlessness of “Gau-Rakshaks” in North India

Muslim truck driver allegedly attacked by cow vigilantes in Palwal, Haryana


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