At a time when the politics around cows have taken centre stage in India, even the cow protectors are not safe in Gujarat. They face constant harassment on a daily basis, not from the unruly cow vigilantes but from the local police.
Maldharis are the nomadic tribal herdsmen who are notable as the traditional dairymen of the region. But now they are being beaten up, detained, slapped with Section 308 of the IPC (attempt to commit culpable homicide) and their cows are being seized by the police in the name of “curbing cattle menace on roads”.
Members of the community say that cattle alone cannot be blamed for accidents or traffic snarls. Using the same logic, the civic authorities should also be charged under the same section, over not maintaining the pothole-filled roads.