Amid the growing incidents of lynching in the name of cow protection, Madhya Pradesh is likely to become the first Indian state to have a law against the cow vigilantism. According to reports, the Congress-led state government has proposed to amend the existing anti-cow slaughter Act to deal with the growing menace of cow vigilantes.
As per the amended law, indulging in violence or violating the law or damaging property in the name of cow vigilantism will be a punishable offence. The amendment in the anti-cow slaughter Act is likely to be cleared by the Kamal Nath Cabinet today.
Under the amended law, anyone found breaking the law will be punished with three years jail term for the first offence and five years imprisonment for repeat offenders. Currently, the cow vigilantes breaking the law are charged under the IPC and CrPC sections.
Over the last few years, the incidents of mob lynching in the name of cow protection has increased across the country. In the latest incident, two Muslim men were beaten black and blue by a group of cow vigilantes in Haryana’s Gurugram on the suspicion of “smuggling beef”.
In 2018, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre to consider enacting a new law to sternly deal with such cases, saying that “horrendous acts of mobocracy” cannot be allowed to overrun the law of the land.
The Supreme Court had also issued several guidelines to the Centre to provide “preventive, remedial and punitive measures” to deal with such offences. In 2017, the top court had asked the states to take strict measures against cow vigilantism and asked for officers to be appointed to monitor such case of violence.