The Shiv Sena said lynching people in the name of cow protection was against Hindutva and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come up with a national policy on beef.
A string of such incidents have been reported from several states, including BJP-ruled Jharkhand, Haryana and UP, prompting protests.
“The issue of beef is related to eating habits, business and employment. Hence, there should be a national policy over the issue,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana said.
“Those who were safeguarding cows were Hindus till yesterday. Today, they have become murderers,” it said.
In a tough message against cow vigilantism and mob lynching, Modi last week said killing people on the pretext of protecting cows is not acceptable and warned that no one has the right to take law into his hands.
“We welcome the stand taken by the prime minister over the issue. Nobody has the right to take law in his hands in the name of cow protection. Lynching people is against the principles of Hindutva,” the Sena said.
“We thank him (Modi) for clearly defining Hindutva. He should now come up with a national policy on beef to ease tensions,” the ruling alliance partner said.
Under attack over mobs killing those suspected of cow slaughter or eating beef, BJP chief Amit Shah recently termed such incidents as “serious”, but claimed more of these happened under the previous governments than the three years of NDA rule.
Recently, a 15-year-old boy, Junaid Khan, was stabbed to death by a group of men on a train when he was returning home to Ballabhgarh in Haryana after shopping for Eid. His assailants termed Junaid, his brother and friends as “beef eaters”.
In Jharkhand’s Ramgarh, a Muslim meat trader was beaten to death last week by cow vigilantes who alleged he was carrying beef in his vehicle. Nityanand Mahto, a local BJP leader is among those arrested in connection with the incident.
In September 2015, Mohammad Akhlaq was beaten to death at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh over suspicion of storing and consuming beef.