Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday broke his silence on cow vigilantism and said he felt angry at such incidents.
Modi said he has asked state governments to prepare a record of people who are "running shops" in the name of cow protection.
"There are some people who are running shops in the name of cow protection. They indulge in anti-social activities in the night and wear the cloak of gau rakshaks (cow protectors) by the day," a visibly riled Prime Minister Modi said in the national capital.
"I have asked the state governments to prepare a dossier of all such people," he said.
Opposition parties have been criticising Modi for his "silence" amidst growing incidents of attacks on Dalits and Muslims by "gau rakshaks" in several parts of the country.
He sought to make distinction between self-styled "gau rakshaks" and those who are genuinely concerned about the welfare of the bovines and said he felt anguished at the actions of such groups.
NDA Government at the Centre and BJP governments in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have been strongly criticised for attacks on Dalits and Muslims by vigilante groups amid the charge that the law enforcement agencies remained mute spectators.
Four Dalit youths were flogged by cow vigilantes near Gujarat's Una town on July 11.
In BJP-ruled Jharkhand, two Muslim cattle herders were hanged by a local cow protection vigilante group in March this year.
In July, two Muslim women were beaten up at Mandsaur railway station in Madhya Pradesh on the suspicion of carrying beef.
Modi government had also come under attack last year after lynching of Mohd Akhlaq in Dadri in for allegedly keeping beef in his house.