Congressman Shehzad Poonawala’s PIL in the Supreme Court to be heard on Friday, has also included the case of Pehlu Khan, the 55-year-old dairy farmer, who was killed by cow vigilantes on Saturday.
The petition relates to 10 cases of violence over alleged cow slaughter or smuggling, including the incident of the lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh in 2015 and the attacks on Dalits at Una, Gujarat last year.
Poonawala has decided to add the incident of last Saturday in Alwar and has sought that cow vigilante groups that have allegedly unleashed terror on minorities and Dalits be banned in the same way that the Students Islamic Movement of India was banned.
The petitioner has said that since the Centre has proved ineffective in reining in terror unleashed by these groups, he has approached the court.
Poonawala said : “Unfortunately in states like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Haryana, these vigilantes get protection or rewards from the state government and have thus earned legitimacy,” the petitioner said, adding that news channels had shown that these vigilante groups are mere extortionists, who act under the garb of cow protection and feed on fear psychosis.
Poonawalla has demanded that groups that spread rumours on social media and engage the cow vigilantes need to be monitored and regulated.
Besides the Centre, the petitioner has listed the governments of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Karnataka as respondents.