Regardless of the protests Ganga over cow vigilantes and the condemnations of the government, in a situation when a cow is believed to have been harmed, people pay the price.
A 55-year-old woman in a village in Bhind, Madhya Pradesh was forced to beg for a week and go to the Ganges to take a dip into the holy water as penance for accidentally killing a calf, a ruling by the village panchayat said.
A resident of Matadin village, the woman Kamlesh was trying to pull a calf away from its mother on August 31 when the rope got entangled around its neck and the calf was strangled to death.
Following the incident, the local panchayat ordered Kamles to spend the week begging for money in nearby villages, or else she would be socially boycotted for life.
“They boycotted her for 7 days… She was not allowed to enter the village even,” her son Anil Shrivas said to media.
Out of fear, nobody raised any objections, and Kamlesh stayed with a relative in a nearby village, begging for money the entire day, until she fell sick and had to be admitted to a hospital.
However, the panchayat chief has denied issuing any such penance.
“She herself called the panchayat members and told them that she had decided to do penance,” said Shambu Shrivas, the panchayat chief.
According to local police, they have not received any complaint and therefore no case has been filed.
“We have not received a complaint. If any complaint comes, we will definitely take action,” said local police officer Anil Singh Kushwaha.
Although in recent times violence by cow vigilantes has reduced, the memory remains fresh for the victims.