Temple committee ‘encouraging cattle smuggling’

  • Gadhimai festival
- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Temple committee ‘encouraging cattle smuggling’

Nov 22, 2014-

Indian animal rights activists have alleged that Gadhimai Temple committee has been persuading the people in the bordering town of India to smuggle cattle to Nepal.

A First Information Report (FIR) was filed on Saturday at the East Champaran district of Bihar against the committee by animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi.

“The Supreme Court of India’s order clearly states that cattle transport across India-Nepal border is illegal, but the temple committee is misguiding people in Indian border villages to illegally transport animals for the festival,” said Maulekhi, a trustee of People’s For Animals.

Last month, the Indian Supreme Court had issued an interim order, directing the Government of India to prevent animals from being illegally transported across the border for sacrifice during Gadhimai fair which takes place once every five years at Bariyapur village in Bara district.  

The Gadhimai Fair Organising Committee has rubbished the allegation. It has said that all devotees from Nepal and across the border are welcome to attend the fair, and  many bring animals for sacrifice of their own volition. “We don’t ask them to bring animals. They bring it out of devotion to the goddess,” said Ram Chandra Sah, chairman of the committee.  “This is not something we teach them, it is something they have believed for a long time.”

Gadhimai fair witnesses one of the world’s largest animal sacrifice. Over 30,000 buffaloes along with rats, goats and pigeons were sacrificed during the previous fair in the name of appeasing the goddess. Around 70 percent of the sacrificial animals come from India. The month-long fair has already begun from last week. The sacrifice ritual takes place on November  28-29.

Published: 23-11-2014 09:32

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