Nepal’s religious mass animal slaughter under way

Published November 29, 2014
Bariyapur (Nepal): Sacrificed buffaloes lie on the ground of an enclosed compound during a ceremony, known as the ‘Gadhimai Mela’, on Friday.—Reuters
Bariyapur (Nepal): Sacrificed buffaloes lie on the ground of an enclosed compound during a ceremony, known as the ‘Gadhimai Mela’, on Friday.—Reuters

BARIYAPUR: Hordes of Hindu worshippers were on Friday slaughtering thousands of animals in a remote corner of Nepal to honour their goddess of power, defying a chorus of protests from rights activists.

Sword-wielding devotees have poured into the village of Bariyapur near the Indian border which will become the world’s largest abattoir during the two-day festival, with animals ranging from buffaloes to rats butchered.

“It is very festive here, everyone is excited,” said head priest Mangal Chaudhary at the slaughter site near a temple devoted to Hindu goddess Gadhimai.

Animal carcasses and severed heads were piling up in a large field near the village where thousands of devotees were carrying out the sacrifices, eyewitnesses said.

“It is very bloody... you can hear the animals moaning,” said Rameshwor Mehta, 50, who was waiting to offer his prayers.

Worshippers on the first day were sacrificing mainly buffaloes, thousands of which have been coralled into holding pens in the field, before moving on to other animals.

Sita Ram Yadav, a 55-year-old farmer who had travelled three hours to attend the festival, said the atmosphere was “like a carnival” with devotees packing the area.

“I am offering a goat to Gadhimai to keep my family safe. If you believe in her, she grants your wishes,” Yadav said.

Worshippers from Nepal and neighbouring India have spent days sleeping out in the open and offering prayers to the goddess at a temple decked with flowers in preparation.The festival kicked off at midnight amid tight security, with the ceremonial killing of a goat, rat, chicken, pig and a pigeon.

Some 1,200 police personnel were patrolling the village and the field where sacrifices were taking place to control crowds gathered to watch.

Published in Dawn, November 29th , 2014

Opinion

Editorial

Disquiet on the western front
Updated 07 Dec, 2022

Disquiet on the western front

IT is very difficult for Pakistan to be delinked from Afghanistan, because of reasons of geography and history.
Fuel from Russia
07 Dec, 2022

Fuel from Russia

THE apparent headway made with Russia for the purchase of its crude oil, petrol and diesel at discounted prices is a...
More women SHOs
07 Dec, 2022

More women SHOs

IT is encouraging to see more employment avenues opening up for women in Pakistan, with an increasing number of...
Is there a plan?
Updated 06 Dec, 2022

Is there a plan?

The ball currently is in Imran's court, but it appears he is stumped as to what to do with it.
Riverfront concerns
06 Dec, 2022

Riverfront concerns

THE door-to-door drive being launched by a group of landowners to mobilise affected communities against what they...
Morality police out
06 Dec, 2022

Morality police out

FOR several months, Iran has been rocked by unprecedented protests, sparked by the death on Sept 16 of Mahsa Amini, ...