Gajwel (Telangana), Aug 7 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asked states to probe the fake "gau rakshaks (cow protectors)" and take strong action against them, saying they were destroying the country.
Voicing concern over incidents of cow vigilantism, he again called for isolating and punishing the fake "gau rakshaks" as a handful of such people were destroying the social fabric and creating conflict in the society.
Speaking at a public meeting at Gajwel in Telangana's Medak district after inaugurating the state's drinking water programme "Mission Bhagiratha", he said Indian is a county full of diversities, different values and traditions and protecting its "unity and integrity is our prime responsibility".
"The fake gau rakshakhs have nothing to do with cows. They want to create tension in society," he said.
The PM said he salute real "gau rakshaks" and "gau sevaks" and appealed to them to come forward to expose fake "gau rakshaks". "I appeal to you to come forward lest the good work being done by you is destroyed by a handful of people for their selfish interests," he added.
He said those who believe in agau bhakti' and Aagau seva' should link cow with agriculture, saying this will give stability to the sector and contribute to economic development. "Cow is an asset and it can never become a burden," he remarked.
Modi told the public meeting that the Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat always experiments with new things in agriculture. The governor, he said, hands over non-milching cows abandoned by people to farmers and ask them to link cows with cultivation as the cow urine and cow dung improves the soil fertility.
Breaking his silence on cow vigilantism, Modi had on Saturday said he felt "very angry" at such incidents and has asked state governments to prepare a dossier of people who are "running shops" in the name of cow protection.
"There are some people who are running shops in the name of cow protection. They indulge in anti-social activities in the night and wear the cloak of 'gau rakshaks' (cow protectors) by the day," a visibly riled Modi said at a Town Hall-style meeting in New Delhi.
The opposition parties have been criticising the Prime Minister for his "silence" amid growing incidents of attacks on Dalits and Muslims by "gau rakshaks" in various parts of the country.
Four Dalit youths were flogged by cow vigilantes near Una town in Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Gujarat on July 11, while in the party-ruled Jharkhand, two Muslim cattle herders were hanged by a local cow protection vigilante group in March this year.
Last month two Muslim women were beaten up at Mandsaur railway station in Madhya Pradesh, also ruled by the BJP, on the suspicion of carrying beef even as policemen at the spot just looked on.
The Modi government had also come under attack last year following the lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri in Uttar Pradesh for allegedly keeping beef in his refrigerator.