Bombay High Court refuses to issue order to check cow vigilantes on Bakrid

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today refused to issue any orders on regulating cattle vigilantes or on maintaining law and order ahead of the festival of Bakrid.

A bench of Justices B R Gavai and M S Karnik said that it was “satisfied” with the state’s and the Mumbai Police’s preparedness on preventing and tackling unwarranted incidents of cattle vigilantism ahead of Bakrid.

The judges said considering the guidelines and various circulars issued by the state, and the Mumbai Police, they believed the authorities had kept in mind the “constitutional principle of secularism,” and had “taken necessary steps to ensure people of all religions celebrate without causing any disturbance to one another.”

The observations were made while the HC was disposing of a public interest litigation seeking that the court issue guidelines against cow vigilantes, or ‘gau rakshaks’. The plea had expressed the apprehension that cattle vigilante groups might “create trouble” during Bakrid.

It had also urged the court to issue directions to the state to ensure the safety of citizens, especially of cattle traders, and those who own or work in slaughter houses and meat shops.

The bench, however, said it felt no need to interfere, or “legislate judicially upon an issue that was the prerogative and the duty of the executive.”

“The state has submitted before us the communication issued to all authorities concerned by the State Intelligence Bureau. The DGP, and the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai, have also issued various circulars to their subordinates on maintaining law and order on and ahead of Bakrid,” the bench said.

“This year, Bakrid coincides with Hindu festivals of ‘Anantchaturdashi’ and ‘Gauri visarjan’.

The Maharashtra government and the Mumbai Police have issued necessary guidelines to ensure that people celebrate the festivals without causing any disturbance to those belonging to another religion,” it said.

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