Earlier this month, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Uttar Pradesh decided to invoke the National Security Act (NSA) and Gangsters Act against those involved in cow slaughter and smuggling of cows and their progeny.
In a recent interview with The Hindu, U.P. Deputy Chief Minister and State BJP president Keshav Prasad Maurya explained why the government had decided to use the NSA, a move which is widely regarded as excessive.
"If the NSA is lodged against somebody who smuggles or slaughters cow/cow progeny, I feel that will create fear in another person who is planning to do it. The government's thought behind invoking the NSA in such crimes is to instill fear in the hearts of those who work in this sector that if such incidents happen, harsh action will follow," Maurya told the newspaper.
On concerns that the NSA could be misused, Maurya said, "Not at all. How can it be misused? If anyone kills a cow and evidence is found against the person, only then the NSA will be invoked. It is not invoked on the first day. I have full hope that in U.P. nobody will dare take a knife close to a cow's throat."
I have full hope that in U.P. nobody will dare take a knife close to a cow's throat.
Within days of coming to power in March, the Yogi Adityanath government in UP started shutting down unlicensed slaughter houses, hitting hard the meat industry.
While invoking the NSA and calling for the strict implementation of laws against cow slaughter, which exist in UP, Adityanath has also warned cow vigilantes from the taking the law into their hands.
Also on HuffPost India: