Killing in name of cow not acceptable: Modi
A day after thousands of people across the country taken to the streets in a citizens' protest named 'Not in My Name' against the recent incidents of mob killings, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday broke his silence saying killing of people in the name of cow protection is not acceptable, remarks that come amid a spurt of attacks by cow vigilantes and a wave of protests.
Addressing a public meeting to mark the centenary of the Mahatma Gandhi's Sabarmati ashram here, Modi said indulging in violence in the name of "gau bhakti" goes fully against the ideals of the Father of the Nation.
"Today, I want to express my sadness and my pain, when I am here at the Sabarmati ashram," he said.
"This is a country which has the tradition of giving food to ants, street dogs, fish, the country where Mahatma Gandhi taught us lessons of non-violence. What has happened to us?" Modi asked.
"Nobody would have practised cow protection and cow worship more than Mahatma Gandhi and (his follower) Vinoba Bhave. They showed us the way how to protect the cow. The country will have to adopt their way," the prime minister said.
The PM's remarks come against the backdrop of growing incidents of cow vigilantism. A Muslim youth- 16-year-old Junaid Khan was last week killed on board a Mathura-bound train by people who taunted his family and repeatedly called them "anti-nationals" and "beef eaters".
On Wednesday thousands showed up in Delhi's Jantar Mantar to express solidarity with 16-year-old Junaid's family and hit out at cow vigilantism.
The Congress dismissed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's warning to those killing people in the name of cow protection as nothing but an eyewash and yet another publicity stunt.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said the prime minister's remarks that killings in the name of cow protection were not acceptable, were "too little too late" and these words meant nothing as actions outdo them.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said that killing in the name of 'gau raksha' must stop and just words were not enough.
"We condemn killings taking place in the name of gau raksha. This must stop now. Just words not enough", Banerjee said in a tweet.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi need not remind people of Mahatma Gandhi's ideals but should ensure strict action against those attacking people on the pretext of protecting cows, Left parties on Thursday said.