Eight want cow as India's national animal, try suicide

2016-03-17 22:49


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New Delhi - At least eight people attempted suicide in India's Gujarat state on Thursday after their demand that the cow be named the country's national animal was not met, news reports said.

India's Hindu majority regard cows as holy and their slaughter is banned in several regions.

One of the election promises of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party before it swept to power in 2014 was that it would bring in necessary legal framework to protect the cow.

Gujarat, in western India, is Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state.

Eight members of the Gau Raksha Samiti (cow protection committee) in the town of Rajkot submitted a memorandum to the district administration on Wednesday demanding the cow should be a designated the national animal within 24 hours, the Times of India newspaper reported.

When their demands were not met, they consumed a poisonous pesticide in front of the district office on Thursday, police said.

They were rushed to hospital and all were out of danger, police official Manish Nakum was quoted as saying.

"If we want to protect our cows, we need to declare it as national animal and we must declare it as Rashtra Mata (national mother)," Dhaval Pandya, a member of the cow protection organisation, was quoted as saying.

"Saints and cow protectionists from across the country are staging protest in New Delhi during last 18 days, but government has not responded to them," Pandya said.

India's national animal is the endangered Royal Bengal tiger.

Read more on:    india  |  animals

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