The Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court that states have to act against cow vigilantism, and that handling such incidents fell under their jurisdiction as they were law and order concerns. Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, representing the Centre, made the statements in the top court, The Times of India reported.

The bench, headed by Justice Dipak Mishra, asked all states and the Centre to file affidavits on how they plan to prevent cow vigilantism. The Supreme Court also asked them to not protect any act by self-appointed legal authorities.

The court gave its orders after hearing three petitions on cases challenging certain laws that protect cow vigilante groups in the country. In April, the Supreme Court had asked Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka to file a report on the rising incidents of cow protectionism.

‘Violence not a partisan issue’

On Thursday, Union minister Arun Jaitley had criticised the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha for politicising cases o mob lynchings. “Violence can never be a partisan issue, and oppression in the name of cow will not be tolerated,” Jaitley had said in Parliament, where the Monsoon Session is on. “Wherever acts of violence and lynchings have erupted, legal proceedings and chargesheets have been filed in a systematic way.”

Congress leader Kapil Sibal had accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of indulging in “double speak” and refraining from acting against the accused, who he claimed belonged to right-wing groups Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal.