The stringent National Security Act (NSA) was invoked against a man for his involvement in a cow slaughter in Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh, on September 6.
According to a statement released by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi, till August 19 this year, the UP Police had invoked the act against 139 people in the state, 76 of them for cow slaughter.
As on August 31, at least 44 of such cases were reported in the Bareilly police zone alone.
In a sharp contrast, the state police has invoked the NSA against six people in connection with crimes against women and children. 37 have been booked for heinous crimes and 20 for other offences in this year.
Thirteen of the arrests under the NSA are linked to the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests early this year that rocked the state.
Under the NSA, a person can be detained without any 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 slapped 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.
NSA charges till August 26 this year have been invoked in as many as 1,716 cases under the Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act and over 4,000 people have been arrested.
Besides, the UP police has also invoked the UP Gangsters' Act against 2,384 people and the Goonda Act against 1,742 in the state.
By August end, the Bijnor police had arrested 11 more people under the NSA, all in connection with cow slaughter.
Questioned over the increasing numbers, Additional Director General, Bareilly zone, Avinash Chandra said, "We conducted a drive against people involved in cow slaughter, collecting information through intelligence."