A day after he spoke against the 'cow vigilantes' in the country who were responsible for the incidents of violence against Dalits and Muslims in various states, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday again lashed out at fake 'cow vigilantes' and said the state government should take action against them.
"These people are hell bent of destroying the society and are disturbed by the unity of India. These people, in the name of gau rakhsha, are trying to create conflict in the society," Modi said in Medak, Telangana at the inauguration of the first phase of the NTPC super thermal power project.
"Beware of nakli gau rakshak (fake cow vigilantes)," he said.
"I ask the state governments to protect our people. The cow protection which Mahatma Gandhi used to talk about cannot be wrong. But these fake gau rakshaks are not concerned about cows," the PM further said.
"The states should conduct a strict investigation against these gau rakshaks," he said. "Even a true gau rakshak should be vigilant so that these fake people do not spread tension in the society," he added.
"The unity and strength of our nation is our primary responsiblity," Modi said, adding that strict action was required against cow vigilantes.
"These people need to be punished. It is only then that we can proudly take our nation to new heights," the Prime Minister said.
On Saturday, Modi broke his silence on the violence against Dalits by cow vigilantes and strongly rebuked them, saying most of them are "anti-social" elements who are running "shops" in the name of cow protection.
He had asked state governments to prepare "dossiers" on the so-called cow protectors as 80 percent of them do illegal activities at night and become cow protectors in the day, asserting that running such help groups does not mean harassing others.
Modi had made this sharp denouncement of cow vigilantes during his Town Hall-style address to mark the second anniversary of his government's MyGov initiative.
His comments had come at a time when his government and BJP are facing flak over incidents of violence against Dalits and Muslims by cow vigilantes in various states including Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
"It makes me angry that people are running shops in the name of cow protection. Most of them are anti-social elements hiding behind the mask of cow protection.
"I will ask state governments to prepare a dossier on such people as 80 percent of them will be found to be involved in anti-social activities which no society will approve of," he had said.
Noting that more cows die from consuming plastics than are slaughtered, he had said that those who want to serve the animal should rather work towards stopping cows from eating plastics as that will be a bigger service.
Recalling his own work in the service of cow, he had said at one health camp organised by him for the animal, at least two buckets full of plastic were removed from the stomach of one of them.
On the foreign policy front, the Prime Minister had said "India first" is the central point of his government's diplomatic engagements.
"India first is the central point (of our foreign policy). It is about protecting India's strategic interest, it is to ensure that India marches forward in achieving economic prosperity by leaps and bounds and reaches the position which it is destined to reach," Modi had said.
(With inputs from PTI)