People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India claimed on Friday that the attack on its three female employees in Bhopal on September 22 at Royal Market was premeditated and they could have been possibly raped and murdered.
A mob protested against the activists who reached near a mosque at Royal Market, Bhopal, with placards making an appeal to Muslims to celebrate a vegan Eid-ul-Zuha. The police rescued the PETA activists and a complaint was filed against one of the female activists Benazir Suraiya.
A PETA release stated that some of the attackers reportedly brought weapons, like knives and kerosene and it showed that they had pre-planned the attack.
"The PETA staff members were receiving calls by persons pretending to be interested members of the media until 1am the night before the attack, constantly asking the women (activists) about what their whereabouts would be the next day. The women had been planning to engage passers-by in a discussion on the benefits of plant-based foods and on considering the offering of fruits, vegetables, breads and pulses to the poor and to animals as one way of celebrating Eid but they were attacked before their peaceful programme could begin," the release stated.
PETA India claimed that it had issued a press release about the awareness programme and got permission from the police three days before the event. Also, the PETA India never received any official objection prior to the programme.
"It is evident that the attackers wanted PETA India's female staff members to begin their programme and were inviting them to it with malicious intent," alleged the release.
The PETA India also commended the Bhopal police for rescuing the women.
Quoting Poorva Joshipura, PETA India CEO, the release stated: "Encouraging vegan eating or the giving of fruits and vegetables to the poor is not a crime, but attacking women is. India is such a beautiful country, but it is rapidly becoming infamous internationally as a hotbed of rape, murder and other barbaric behaviour against women."