The Centre on Tuesday told the Lok Sabha that it has asked state governments to register First Information Reports in all “untoward incidents” that happen in the name of cow protection. Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir said states were responsible for maintaining law and order, protecting life and property and preventing attacks by cow vigilantes on Muslims, Dalits, beef traders and dairy farmers, PTI reported.

Replying to a written query in the Lower House, Ahir said the advisory issued to states and Union Territories also makes it mandatory to make a copy of the FIR available to the public.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked state governments to crack down on cow vigilantes resorting to violence. “The cow is treated as a mother, and it is an emotive issue,” Modi had said in a series of tweets. “But we have to understand that there are laws governing cow protection, and breaking them is not an alternative.”