Minority groups demand ban on ‘cow vigilantism’

New Delhi: Several Muslim, Christian and Dalit organisations today staged a protest at the Jantar Mantar here, demanding a ban on “cow vigilantism” and sought passage of the Communal Violence Bill.

The protesters also submitted a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee, urging him to play his role in defending the constitutional rights of the people “who are increasingly being persecuted” allegedly under the NDA government at the Centre.

“We demand the cow vigilantism be banned and people be allowed to eat the food of their choice,” All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat president Navaid Hamid said.

“A commission should be formed to report whether the recent events are part of organised crimes orchestrated by parties to polarise votes for political mileage and to suggest proper mechanism to prevent deterioration of democratic system by overuse of polarisation tactics leading to vast loss of lives and properties and displacement of people from their cozy homes,” Jamat-e-Islami Hind vice-president Nusrat Ali said.

Maulana Abdul Hameed, General Secretary of Jamiatul Ulama Hind, demanded that judicial inquiry be initiated in major cases that occurred in Dadri, Dingerhedi, Paida village of Bijnore and the killing of youth allegedly by cow vigilantes in Ahmedabad.

“The Communal Violence Bill should be made a law as soon as possible so that communal forces should be suitably dealt with for maintaining peace and law and order in the country,” he said.

The Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill, 2005, seeks to empower the government to prevent and control communal violence, provide for speedy investigation and trial of offences and rehabilitate victims of such violence.

The protesters also demanded that due compensation should be paid by governments concerned to the victims and their families and a standard method be evolved for equal compensation to people across the communities and proper rules be devised for immediate relief to affected families.

Other organisations which participated in the protest include Lokraj Sanghtan, Dalit Federation AMOD, All India Shia Council and Students Islamic Organisation of India.