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Uday Rana | Meerut | TNN | Sept 5, 2016:: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s (VHP) gau raksha vibhaag (cow protection department) has a piece of advice for young cow vigilantes on how to handle cattle smugglers – “Beat them up but don’t break their bones”.
Addressing a meeting of top gau rakshaks from western UP, Braj region and Uttarakhand on Sunday, Khemchand, a member of the gau raksha department’s central committee, urged VHP workers to also enlist non-VHP volunteers for the cause of cow protection so that “no cattle smuggler would dare” to carry out illegal trade of the animal when faced with “an army of gau rakshaks”. Khemchand also said that “cow protection, not Make in India” would “save the country”.
“There was a lot of talk recently about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s+statement on cow protection. I don’t agree with most of what he said, but I do agree that we shouldn’t take the law into our hands. I often say to my workers – maaro magar haddi mat todo (beat them up but don’t break their bones). If you break someone’s bones then you will get into trouble with the police. Some people show off by shooting viral videos of them beating up cattle smugglers. There is no need for them to do that,” Khemchand said, addressing the gau rakshaks.
When TOI later asked Khemchand for a clarification, he said, “I only meant that they (gau rakshaks) should defend themselves when faced with a difficult situation. Most people don’t know about the danger that our workers face. So many workers have been martyred for the cause of the cow. What else could they do when they are faced with armed cattle mafia? The only thing they have to defend themselves is a lathi and the smugglers have guns. If a cattle smuggler sustains serious injuries, even when my boys are protecting themselves, cops target VHP workers.”
While Khemchand described PM Narendra Modi as a “fellow pracharak” and someone he admired, it did not stop him from taking a dig at the PM’s pet project ‘Make in India’. He said, “Back in the old days, India was called ‘sone ki chidiya’ (golden bird). Do you think it was because of Make in India? There was no industry back then. India can be saved by the cow, not by Make in India.”