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Hindus begin mass animal sacrifice in Nepal despite protest

Hindus begin mass animal sacrifice in Nepal despite protest

DPA / AFP
Kathmandu
Tens of thousands of Hindus on Tuesday began slaughtering animals in a border village in southern Nepal to honour the Hindu goddess of power, despite outcry from animal rights activists.
Efforts from activists and officials were expected to cut the death toll from the 200,000 butchered at the last Gadhimai Festival five years ago, but thousands of creatures were still set to be killed over the two days.
An estimated 7,000 buffalo are expected to be killed on Tuesday, which will be followed by the killings of tens of thousands of goats, chickens and pigs. Held every five years, the event is described as one of world’s biggest ritual mass animal sacrifices.
Thousands of worshippers from Nepal and India spent days sleeping out in the open and offering prayers ahead of the event in Bariyarpur village, close to the Indian border.
One of the Hindu faithful, a 40-year-old farmer named Bishweshwar, travelled for four hours from a nearby district to the temple with a goat offering. “I had promised to the goddess that I will sacrifice a goat if my wish was fulfilled.”
Many were hopeful the centuries-old tradition would end after the temple authorities announced a ban in 2015 and supreme court directed the government to discourage the bloodshed a year later. But animal rights activists say both government agencies as well as temple committees have failed to implement these rulings.
Some 2,000 police personnel were patrolling the village and the field where sacrifices were taking place to control crowds gathered to watch.

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