The Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday directed states and union territories to follow a no-tolerance policy towards incidents of attacks by cow vigilantes, ANI reported. The order comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke up against self-appointed "gau rakshaks". He said these individuals "indulge in anti-social activities" as a "ruse to hide their misdeeds".

Modi's statements came at a time when the country is witnessing a spate of incidents of cow vigilantism. On July 11, four Dalit men were beaten up for skinning a dead cow near Gujarat's Una town, which triggered protests across the state.

The prime minister's comments were not well received by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which said Modi should have avoided saying that 80% gau rakshaks are fake. The right-wing organisation said they have always supported the cause of the cow protection groups.