Notwithstanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s criticism of the cow vigilante groups, the Cow Protection Cell in West Bengal, which is conducting a census of the animal in the state, on Wednesday said it would continue with the exercise.
"Whatever prime minister has said is right, nobody has the right to attack anyone in the name of cow protection. There are incidents of Dalits being attacked in the name of cow protection. This is wrong. This should not have happened. But our cow census has nothing to do with attack on Dalits, so it will continue," state president of Cow Protection Cell Subrata Gupta told.
"This cow census will continue for the sake of mankind and the country. Cow is treated as a mother in Hindu religion and everybody has the right to protect and have concern about his/her mother," he said.
In his first public denouncement of cow vigilantes, some of whom flogged Dalits in his home state Gujarat, Modi last week said he felt enraged at such "anti-social elements" who indulged in crimes by the night and masqueraded as cow protectors by the day.
"We will come out with the report on September 15. We are being helped by BJP, RSS, VHP, Shiv Sena and other Hindutva groups and organisations. We are facing a lot of threats and resistance while conducting this exercise, but we are committed towards the cause and will continue with it. Cow needs to be protected for the sake of environment, ecology and for the country," Gupta said.