Proposal to issue identity cards to gau-rakshaks rejected in Punjab

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Punjab Gau Sewa Commission today rejected the proposal of its Haryana counterpart for issuing identity cards to ‘Gau Raksha Dals’ (cow protection groups) and said such a step may be taken by police after verifying antecedents.

“I have rejected this proposal (of Haryana Gau Sewa Ayog) because several people are engaged in this job of cow protection. How can I say who is right or wrong? If we issue I-card to someone and if he does something wrong then who will be responsible,” Punjab Gau Sewa Commission Chairman Kimti Lal Bhagat said.

“There are several people including NGOs who are involved in cow protection. There may be some wrong persons out of them and they can misuse the card. I am not in favour of what Haryana has proposed to do it for cow protection,” he said.

Amid an uproar over cow vigilantism, Haryana Gau Sewa Ayog has decided to carry out police verification of all members of the ‘Gau Raksha Dals’ in the state and is considering issuing them identity cards.

Asserting that the Commission would not be associated with any exercise of issuing such cards, Bhagat said he was in favour of district police chiefs issuing such I-cards.

“I have said SSP should give I-cards in each district to Gau Raksha Dals after conducting their verification,” he said.

The Chairman said people come in hordes to the Commission to seek arms license and wondered, “Why do they need weapons for cow protection? We are not going to war.” If the police finds it fit, they can also issue license for weapons, he said.

He further said, “Even after police verification of Gau Raksha Dals, if somebody starts looting or extorting money in the name of cow protection then what we will do as money is involved in it. There can be problem.”

Bhagat said Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal will hold a meeting of Gau Sewa Commission on August 21 here where the matter pertaining to Gau Raksha Dals will also be discussed.

However, Bhagat claimed there were hardly any Gau Raksha Dals out of 40-50 Dals operating in the state which are in any way involved in extorting money. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had denounced cow vigilantes and asked people to beware of the “fake” protectors trying to divide society. He has asked states to punish the self-styled cow-protectors.

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