The Shiv Sena on Monday said that lynching people in the name of cow protection was against the principles of Hindutva. “The issue of beef is related to eating habits, business and employment,” an editorial in Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana said. “Hence, there should be a national policy over the issue

The editorial said the party welcomed “the stand taken by the prime minister” on the matter, referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s condemnation of the lynch mobs on Thursday. “Nobody has the right to take law in his hands in the name of cow protection,” it added. “Those who were protecting cows were Hindus until yesterday. Today, they have become murderers.”

The Shiv Sena thanked Modi for “clearly defining” Hindutva, and asked him to come up with a national policy on beef. Modi had said that killing in the name of cow protection was unacceptable, and not something that Mahatma Gandhi would condone.

Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah had on Saturday claimed that though the lynchings were a “serious” matter, many more were carried out under the previous governments than during the three years of NDA rule.