Nearly 110 cow protection activists from various parts of Gujarat’s Saurashtra region were detained amid a bandh call given by ‘Gau Raksha Ekta Samiti’ in support of their demand for declaring the cow as being “Rashtra Mata”.
The bandh got a mixed response in Rajkot district and some parts of Saurashtra. However, the shutdown did not have much pull outside Saurashtra region.
In Rajkot city, most of the shops located in the main market in Dharmendra Road area were closed on Friday morning, while shops and offices remained unaffected.
The ‘Gau Raksha Ekta Samiti’ exempted educational institutes and health care services from the bandh. Nearly 15 persons protesting at Trikaun baugh area were detained by the police in Rajkot.
“We detained 15 persons who were protesting at Trikaun Baugh area. There was a report of road blockade. Barring this, the bandh was observed in a peaceful manner,” Pradhyuman Nagar Police Inspector Manish Nakum said.
The Rajkot City Police had made adequate security measures by deploying 800 policemen and four companies of State Reserve Police (SRP).
Some 60 cow protection activists were taken into custody in Morbi town of Rajkot district town, ‘A’ division Police Inspector NK Vyas said.
“Nearly 35 persons were rounded up in Manavadar town of Porbandar district as they blocked the road and disrupted traffic,” Manavadar PSI SV Gojiya said.
As many as eight cow right activists had on Thursday consumed pesticide and were subsequently hospitalised.
One, identified as Hindabhai Vambadiya, later died at the civil hospital. Two of the seven-- Dinesh Loriya (42) and Raghuvirsinh Jadeja (27)-- are in a critical condition.
The Gau Raksha Ekta Samiti had called for the bandh while Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal and Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) had extended their support to it.
The activists also submitted a memorandum to the city mamlatdar Pragyesh Jani demanding that cow should be announced as “Rashtra Mata” and protection for cow protectors.
The activist also demanded compensation for the family members of Hindabhai as he had sacrificed his life for cow protection.