A state in India is currently using a draconian law to detain people that are accused of killing cows, which are considered sacred in the Hindu religion.
Over 50 percent of the arrests this year under a tough national security law in Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in India, involves suspects that are involved in cases of cow slaughter, showed data released by the public.
The UP state has used the National Security Act (NSA) to detain people without charge for up to 1 year. It has been used 140 times in the first 8 months of this year.
The NSA allows the authorities to detain people that pose threat to national security without charge for up to a year.
Awanish Awasthi, a top state official, said:
The NSA has been invoked in 139 cases across Uttar Pradesh, of which 76 have been against the slaughter of cows.
The figure, which is from January this year to August 18, 2020, was first reported by the Indian Express newspaper on Friday.
Cows are considered in India because of the respect it gets in the Hindu religion. India has a Hindu-majority population.
States, such as Uttar Pradesh, have strict laws against the slaughter of the animals.
Not only are people detained, most of the time the Muslim minority in the country is hardly targeted by the Hindu majority.
Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, has repeatedly urged the authorities to use NSA to combat cow slaughter in the state, which has 200 million people living in it.
CM Yogi, who is also known as Yogi JI, is a Hindu Monk that belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party, the leading party that is currently ruling India.
Indian rights activists have called the NSA as a draconian law that is abused by the authorities in India.