PETA activists' campaign invites public anger; tension in Bhopal

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Sep 23, 2014 17:49 IST

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) activists’ call to celebrate 'Vegan Id-uz-Zuha' angered residents who resorted to stone pelting in the walled city on Monday.

Later, the police registered a case against PETA activists for trying to disrupt peace. No prior permission was taken from district administration for the demonstration.

The activists assembled in front of Tajul Masajid in the morning, and were carrying placards spreading message about 'Vegan Id'. One of the activists, Benazir Suraiya, was dressed as a lettuce lady and held a placard reading 'Make Id Happy for all - Try Vegan'.

As soon as residents saw the PETA members carrying the message, they shouted slogans: 'PETA go back' and 'Mazhab mein dakhal-andazi band karo' (Don’t intervene in religious matters).

Some of the youths who approached the activists aggressively forced them to move back. Fellow activists went missing as some from the crowd hurled footwear and pelted stones.

Ultimately, police came in and saved the activist. In the meantime, Muslim women gathered at Tajul Masajid and started shouting slogans against PETA. Police had a tough time dealing with the angry protestors.

As the activists stood in the verandah in shopping complex of the Tajul Masajid, people from the crowd started hurling stones at her. A policeman also sustained slight injury while whisking away the activist away from the site.

Later Muslims in large numbers gathered at the collector’s office and demanded action against PETA members. Collector Nishant Warwade, who was busy in meeting regarding delimitation, sent ADM BS Jamod to look into the matter.

"Order has been given to file a case against the PETA activists. This was not done in a good spirit. Choice of place for protest reflects mala fide intention," Jamod, told HT.

The local residents, especially, traders, objected to the venue chosen by PETA activists. "This is the first time they are interfering in religious issues of any community. Issuing an appeal is different and standing in front of mosque to change the way we celebrate our festival and observe faith is different," said a protester in front of the mosque.

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