No need of guidelines for Gaurakshaks: Bombay High Court

Mumbai: Observing that the Maharashtra Police has undertaken ‘apt’ steps to ensure that no unpleasant circumstances are created by cow vigilantes (Gaurakshaks) during the upcoming Bakri-Eid festival, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday refused to issue any directions to prohibit them.

A division bench of Justice Bhushan Gavai and Justice Makarand Karnik heard a criminal Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Shadaab Patel, a businessman. The PIL seeks a direction to the government and the state police to ensure safety of citizens, especially who are in the business of cattle trade. The PIL, cites the example of lynching incidents of Akhlaq in Uttar Pradesh and Junaid Khan in Delhi, and seeks a 24-hours helpline number.

Pursuant to the earlier orders, the Maharashtra police filed its affidavit spelling out the ‘preventive’ measures it undertook to ensure that the festival goes smoothly. After perusing the affidavit, Justice Gavai said, “We are satisfied by the preventive measures of the police. It can be said that the authorities have kept in mind the constitutional principle of secularism and has taken necessary steps to ensure that people of all religions celebrate without causing disturbance.”

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