The National Security Act (NSA) was invoked upon a man blamed of being involved in cow massacre in Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh, on September 6, adding one more to the list of people against whom the severe act has been used in the state this year.
More than half of these cases relate to claimed cow slaughter. As per a statement by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi, this year, till August 19, the UP Police had invoked the NSA against 139 people in the state, 76 of them for cow slaughter. As on August 31, the Bareilly police zone alone accounted for 44 of the cases.
Under the NSA, a person can be detained without a charge for up to 12 months if the authorities feel he or she is a threat to national security or law and order. “Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed that the NSA be hit in case of crimes which may affect public order so that there is a feeling of fear among criminals and a feeling of safety among the public,” Awasthi said.
Additional Superintendent of Police Ashok Kumar said, “Israel was arrested in July after a huge quantity of beef was recovered from him. Following the incidents of cow slaughter, the law and order situation in the area remained sensitive.” Israel has also been arrested under the Goonda Act. The first two people arrested in the Bareilly zone under the NSA for cow slaughter this year were Naushad and Kaseem, in their 20s. They were part of a group of six caught from Haldaur area in Bijnor on April 9, with the police claiming to have captured cow meat and weapons used for slaughtering the animal from their possession.
By August end, the Bijnor police had held 11 more people under the NSA, all in connection with cow slaughter. That was second only to Badaun in the Bareilly zone, with 12 arrests under the NSA this year till August.
The other four police zones with cow slaughter charges under the NSA till July end were Meerut (5 cases), Agra (2), Varanasi (2) and Gorakhpur (1). The other five police zones in Uttar Pradesh have not reported any NSA arrests on this ground.