- RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat demands ban on cow slaughter across the country
- Any violence in the name of cow slaughter defames cause, he said
- Centre had faced opposition anger in parliament after the Alwar killing
"We want a law banning cow slaughter across the country," he said at an event to mark the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavir in the national capital.
Mr Bhagwat, however, said that the work of cow protection should be done within the ambit of law. "Any violence in the name of cow slaughter defames the cause and the law must be obeyed," he said.
His statement comes amid uproar over the thrashing of Pehlu Khan, a 55-year-old dairy farmer, in Rajasthan's Alwar district. A video showed Mr Khan and his associates being chased, beaten by cow vigilantes while they were returning to Haryana after buying cows at a Jaipur fair. They were not let off even after they showed a Jaipur civic document as proof that they had bought the cows for milk.
The government faced opposition anger in parliament, with the Congress alleging a "constitutional breakdown" in BJP-ruled Rajasthan.
Last year, condemning self-styled cow protectors, PM Narendra Modi had said, "I get so angry at those who are into the Gau-Rakshak business. A Gau-Bhakt (cow devotee) is different, Gau Seva (cow protection) is different. I have seen that some people are into crimes all night and wear the garb of Gau Rakshaks in the day."
"70-80% will be those who indulge in anti-social activities and try to hide their sins by pretending to be Gau Rakshaks. If they are true protectors, they should realise that most cows die because of plastic, not slaughter. They should stop cows from eating plastic," he had said.