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Nepal under pressure to stop animal sacrifice

world Updated: Oct 24, 2009 20:24 IST

The Nepalese government is under mounting pressure from animal right activists, which includes India's noted activist Maneka Gandhi, to stop the centuries old animal sacrifice at Gadhimai Festival in Bara district.

Around 2,00,000 animals including 20,000 buffaloes will be sacrificed this year as millions of devotees prepare to arrive for the festival at the area near Indo-Nepal border on November.

The festival takes place every five years, and some 7 million people, half of them from bordering Indian states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, visited the Gadhimai Temple in 2005.

Maneka Gandhi has mailed a letter to Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal asking for his intervention to stop the animal sacrifice, which is considered the biggest in the world, in the temple.

Similarly, Gandhi has also written letters to President Ram Baran Yadav and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala seeking ban on animal sacrifice.

"Nepal has sensibly abolished a number of 'traditions' in the past, including human sacrifice and widow burning. Many people in Nepal and in the subcontinent are concerned about this sacrifice," Gandhi wrote.