Jaipur, Dec 25: Of late, Rajasthan has become the hub of cow vigilantism as several people were attacked by gau rakshaks (cow vigilantes) for allegedly smuggling and killing bovine animals.
In fact, there are allegations that the gau rakshaks, who take law into their own hands in the name of cow protection, are well-supported by several members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state and at the Centre.
The most infamous case of cow vigilantism was witnessed in Rajasthan when 55-year-old Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer from Haryana, was beaten to death by gau rakshaks in Alwar on April 1.
On Saturday, a BJP MLA from the state made a public statement that "if one engages in cow smuggling or slaughters a cow, he will be killed".
Ramgarh MLA Gyan Dev Ahuja told reporters, "Mera toh seedha seedha kehna hai ki gautaskari aur gaukashi karoge to yu hi maroge (I will only say that if you smuggle and slaughter cows, then you will be killed)".
According to The Indian Express, the BJP MLA made the statement while speaking on the arrest of an alleged cow smuggler in Alwar district on Saturday.
The man, identified as Zakir, was allegedly beaten up severely by a mob before he was arrested, added The Indian Express report.
However, Ahuja denied the allegations that Zakir was beaten by the mob. "As the public was following the truck, it overturned, resulting in the injuries... Now he is saying that villagers beat him up. I have taken details of the case from the SHO. The people didn't beat him. He was injured because the vehicle overturned."
Now, it needs to be seen if the Vasundhara Raje Scindia government will take action against the BJP MLA for openly threatening to kill cow smugglers and butchers.