Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that he disapproved of the killings in the name of cow worship. He said Mahatama Gandhi, the father of the nation, would not have approved this either. “Killing people in the name of Gau Bhakti is not acceptable. This is not something Mahatma Gandhi would approve,” said Modi in Gujarat while attending the centenary celebrations of Sabarmati Ashram.

The prime minister said no person has the right to take the law into his own hands. He added that there is no place for violence in a society and that violence has never resolved any problem. “We are a land of non violence. We are the land of Mahatma Gandhi. Why do we forget that.”

In the same vein, he said cows should be protected and again brought up Mahatma Gandhi. “No one spoke about protecting cows more than Mahatma Gandhi and Acharya Vinoba Bhave. Yes. It should be done.”

Modi’s comments come a day after thousands of citizens across the country took to the streets to protest against the recent lynching of Muslims and other incidents of communal and caste-based violence. The latest in this string of incidents is the killing of a young Muslim boy aboard a local train to Ballabhgarh, Haryana, on June 22. Junaid was travelling home after Eid shopping in Delhi with some friends and relatives. A group of men made communal remarks about him and his companions after they refused to give up their seats for them. The men then assaulted them, and Junaid died as a result of the injuries he had sustained.