With rising instances of violence in the garb of cow vigilantism, the Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to six state government including Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Maharshtra. The apex court sought a detailed reply in three weeks from Rajasthan government regarding the matter. The SC was acting on a petition by Congressman Shehzad Poonawalla, that cited 10 cases of violence over alleged cow slaughter or smuggling, including lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri in 2015 , the attacks on Dalits at Gujarat’s Una last year and the latest incident in Rajasthan’s Alwar where a dairy farmer was killed.

The plea sought a ban on these groups (Gau rakshak) that target minority communities in the name of religion. Meanwhile the SC has deferred the matter till May 3 for next hearing. Poonawalla has been critical of the central government for its reluctance to control such groups . He has also accused the BJP led governments in  Gujarat, Maharashtra and Haryana of rewarding vigilantes because of which such groups had “earned legitimacy”.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Thursday drew flak after he dismissed reports that that the Alwar incident was one of cow vigilantism. “The concerned state government has already condemned the media reports and  there should be no indication or message that the government supports violence,” he said in Rajya Sabha.