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The Shiv Sena on Wednesday expressed concern over recent incidents of violence in the name of 'gau raksha' and asked where were these self-appointed 'cow
saviours' when terrorists targeted Amarnath pilgrims in Kashmir recently. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi is facing the heat over the issue of cow vigilantism, an editorial in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' said.

The ruling alliance partner also said that Pakistan wanted the nation to get divided in the name of cow protection. The statements come in the wake of recent incidents of violence in different parts of the country in the name of cow protection. Seeking to blunt the opposition attack over cow vigilantism, the prime minister had on Sunday sought to put the onus for checking such "hooliganism" on state governments, insisting that they take "stringent action" against such elements.

"Even the prime minister had to face criticism over the ruckus created by gau rakshaks across the nation. They have not stopped even after the PM criticised them and said this has become more of a business now," the editorial said. "The Muslims across the country are being attacked and killed over suspicion of carrying beef," it said. At a time when tensions mount on the borders, internal squabbles would be disastrous for the integrity of the nation, the Sena said.

"Even in Prime Minister Modi's home state Gujarat, the gau rakshaks have mercilessly killed people in the name of cow protection. Where were these cow vigilantes when the Amarnath pilgrims from the state were killed by terrorists? "They should not have any problems in taking weapons and going to Kashmir to take revenge," the Sena quipped.

The saffron ally said that the cow vigilantes should show courage and machoism at all levels. "If cows are being saved in the name of religion, protecting the nation is also important in the name of religion," it said. "The gau rakshaks are laying thorns in the path of Modi. It seems that the prime minister has given up on them as their activities have not stopped even after his warning," the editorial said. "It is unfortunate that law is a mute spectator when 40-50 people gang up to beat an individual," it said.

In a jibe, the Sena said despite the life of animals being more important in the country than that of humans, the export of beef has increased in the last three years due to which a considerable amount has been received in the Indian coffers. "Do the cow vigilantes believe that this money should not be used for developmental purposes? They should remember that many Muslim police personnel have been martyred in terrorist attacks in Kashmir and it was a Muslim who saved the Amarnath pilgrims," it said.

The petitions had sought the court to declare that the two plots were necessarily required to be kept as open space for garden and the lease deed executed in favour of Juhuraj society and Juhu Lifestyle society as nominees of Anjuman Trust should be quashed and set aside. The court noted that there were some errors on the
part of Mhada while submitting layout plans of the Juhu area to the civic body in the year 1999.

"It appears that, this error while submitting the amended layout plan, must have ignited ingenious idea in the mind of some land grabbers so as to turn this obvious error into a gold mine. The land grabbers then started making an attempt to grab these two pieces of land," the court said. The court also noted that despite Mhada sending a letter to BMC later to rectify the error and declare the two plots as open spaces in the layout plan, the then vice-president and CEO of Mhada S S Zende went ahead and passed an order to execute the lease deed.

"As an officer of Mhada, Zende was expected to act in a manner, which would have protected the rights of Mhada or the public at large, rather than showing the magnanimity of handing over such a precious piece of land to Anjuman trust without the state government or the Mhada getting a single rupee benefit," the bench observed.

The petitioners told the court they do not want the fine amount and the same should be donated to the State Legal Aid Fund.