New Delhi: As uncertainty weighs down traders running slaughterhouses in Uttar Pradesh, a legislator of the ruling BJP allegedly stirred the pot with a threat to "break the limbs" of those killing cows. The comment of Vikram Saini, one of the accused in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar violence case, comes as Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath warned his followers to stay away from excesses after the BJP's spectacular victory in the state.
- Vikram Saini says ready to fulfil promises after BJP win in Uttar Pradesh
- Also threatens those who do not say 'Vande Mataram', 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai'
- Chief Minister Adityanath had warned supporters to not get 'carried away'
Cow slaughter is illegal in the state and two years ago, a 62-year-old man was lynched in Dadri following allegations of cow slaughter and beef consumption. But the government's recent crackdown on illegal abattoirs, where buffaloes are slaughtered mostly for export, has brought fresh attention to the issue.
Amid the apprehension and rumours, Mr Saini allegedly said, "I had promised that I will break the hands and legs of those who hesitate in saying 'Vande Mataram', those who feel pain in saying 'Bharat mata ki jai' and also those who do not consider cows their mother and kill them."
In the purported video, he is heard saying to huge cheers, "We are ready to fulfill the promise. We have a team of youth activists to take action".
Mr Saini, who is representing Khatauli in the assembly, had been detained under the National Security Act after the 2013 violence, in which more than 60 people were killed. State minister Suresh Rana, who was being felicitated at the event where Mr Saini was speaking, is also an accused in the case.
Yesterday, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath issued a warning to his supporters saying "josh mein aake hosh nahi khona chahiye" (Don't get carried away by the victory) and indicated that it was essential to retain focus on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's development agenda for the state.
Many of the state's abattoirs had shut following the crackdown by the police last week. Though Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had made it clear that action should be taken only against illegal slaughterhouses, the overzealousness of the police has resulted in the alleged sealing of abattoirs on grounds as varied as lack of permit to draw groundwater and dysfunctional CCTV cameras. Unsure where the blow will land next, many of the slaughterhouses have closed their doors.