Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday said gau rakshaks (cow protection activists) work within the limits of Indian law, ANI reported. The right-wing group's leader said the vigilantes are an "integral part of the constitution", but that some sections of society were trying to tarnish their image. He was addressing a gathering on the 91st Foundation Day of the Sangh in Nagpur.

Bhagwat said, "There are some people who are dedicated to cow protection, it is part of the directive principles of state policy." He added that those who violate the law should not be categorised or compared to gau rakshaks.

Bhagwat also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration and the Army's handling of militant strikes along the Line of Control. Indirectly accusing Pakistan of inciting violence in Jammu and Kashmir, he said, "Entire Kashmir is ours including Mirpur, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit-Baltistan."

The RSS chief said, "Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is ours. Action should match strength of these words. We are delighted by valour shown by Army," PTI reported. He warned political parties about "pitting people against each other". Bhagwat also called on the government to expedite measures to ensure justice for displaced Kashmiri Pandits.

Keshav Baliram Hedgewar started the RSS in September of 1925. The group celebrates its Foundation Day on Dussera.

Relations between India and Pakistan have soured since the September 18 Uri attack, in which 19 soldiers were killed. India said it had carried out surgical strikes along the Line of Control on September 29, Pakistan had denied any such operations and said it was nothing but cross-border firing.