New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the "issue of communal violence in the name of cow protection" needed to be tackled sternly and asked state governments to act "very tough" against those taking law in their own hands.
At an all-party meeting ahead of Parliament's monsoon session that begins on Monday, Modi told MPs that law and order was a state subject and as such the state governments needed to act strictly against those committing violence in the name of cow protection.
In his address to floor leaders of parties in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, Modi sought opposition support in fighting the issue of violence done in the name of cow protection.
The issue has raised concerns as the targets of such violence have been minority members and Dalits.
The Prime Minister "urged all parties to extend their support to the government in fighting corruption and the issue of communal violence in the name of cow protection", said an official statement issued after the meeting in Parliament House premises.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister H.N. Ananth Kumar briefed the media and said Modi sought strict action against those people who were inciting tension in the name of cow.
"The central government has sent advisories to the state governments. Law and order is a state subject. As such, very tough action should be taken against those indulging in violence in the name of cow protection," Ananth Kkumar said, quoting the Prime Minister as saying at the meeting.
Modi said some political parties were painting cow protection with communal colour and taking political advantages which does not benefit the country.
"A race has begun to score political mileages after painting cow protection with communal colours. This will do no good to the country. Everyone should come together and put an end to it (cow vigilantism)," the Prime Minister told all parties.
"There is a law on cow protection in the country. But committing crimes in the name of cow protection out of personal animosities cannot be tolerated," Modi said.
The opposition has vowed to raise the issue in Parliament, seeking answers from the government on what it was doing to end the violence that has claimed many lives -- mostly Muslims and Dalits -- in the country.
Modi also asked the opposition to support the government in conducting business in both the Houses "without disruption".
Without mentioning India's military standoff with China in the Sikkim sector and worsening security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime Minister asserted that all political parties stood united to ensure "nation's safety and security after such concerns were raised by many leaders on recent developments", the statement said.