Terming the attack on a Gujjar family in Reasi as a “Gunda Gardi”, Minister for Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali Sunday said that such cow vigilantism would not be acceptable in Jammu and Kashmir.
In a statement issued to the media on Sunday, Zulfikar said that people should not create “reign of terror” in the guise of Gaw Rakshaks.
“We cannot force anybody to follow a particular faith,” he said adding that using force in the name of cow protection was damaging secular fabric of the state “which will not be allowed at any cost”.
The minister said that Gujjar and Bakerwal communities were the real “Gaw Rakshak” (cow protectors) and were being harassed for moving flocks from one place to another.
“This community takes care of cow more than so called Gaw Rakhshak,” he said.
He added that as per reports, cow vigilantes took away the entire flock of cattle including cow, sheep and goat of the nomad family besides physically torturing men women and children.
“Gujjar and Bakerwal community are dependent on livestock they are moving from one place to another for the last many centuries,” Zulfkar said while terming the attack as illegal and asked the administration to take the issue seriously.
The minister also talked to police and expressed serious concern over the incident, the statement said.
“Such miscreants must be booked under law for using illegal means to harass people,’’ he said adding that the state is already facing trouble and such things are adding fuel to fire. “We will not allow such elements to tarnish the image of the state and destabalise it”, he said.