Angry Hindu leaders from across Britain massed for an emergency meeting on Sunday following the putting to death of a cow at a temple outside London.
They were united in their condemnation of the ?officious and self-righteous? RSPCA, and the ?unthinking complicity? of Defra and the police.
Representing dozens of organisations and communities, they converged on the Bhaktivedanta Manor in Hertfordshire and saw for themselves the spot where a temple cow was mercilessly given a fatal injection, despite all pleas and attempts at negotiation on religious grounds.
They were further incensed to learn that the cow'smedical care was being supervised by two veterinary surgeons, neither of whom insisted that the cow be killed, and neither of whom reported the animal as ?suffering.?
The assembly of delegates expressed their outrage and frustration, considering the killing to be not only an entirely unnecessary waste of life, but also a symbolic attack on Hinduism itself, a religion of non-violence.
?Never before have I seen such anger and solidarity in our community,? said Arjan Vikaria of the Hindu Forum of Britain. ?We want answers and retribution and we will not stop until we get them.?
Raj Joshi, the vice-chairman of The Society of Black Lawyers, angrily commented: ?This action shows complete disregard for the sensitivities of the third largest religion in this country. It is astonishing that the authorities seem to have disregarded all customary tolerance and understanding, and certainly the relevant legislation, in carrying out this unwarranted and inhumane destruction of an animal.?
Research was presented on the previous conduct of the RSPCA, and the organisation'ssorry history of overzealous ?mercy killings? was discussed. ?We call upon Hindus throughout the country to withdraw their financial support from the RSPCA,? said one leader, ?they are not morally fit to represent the compassionate nature of the British public.?
?We are very upset by the deceptive way in which this charity has behaved and presented the situation to the public,? said another, ?they grossly exaggerated the physical deterioration of the cow, and have covered up the plain fact of the matter, which is that she was being very well cared for by a local, highly qualified vet and her carers.?
Head of the temple where the cow was killed, Gauri Das commented: ?The RSPCA deceived us and is now attempting to deceive the public. A charity organisation with no powers came uniformed into our temple and enforced the killing of Gangotri, a loved and cared for cow with no disease. Her only crime was that she couldn'twalk.?
Delegates formed a task force and will now demand both the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, and Hilary Benn MP, Defra minister, to explain who gave the order to kill the cow, despite ministerial promises that no action would be taken because of the special circumstances. They also voted to register their protest in other ways and are considering prosecution of the RSPCA.
For more information, please contact:
(Interviews) Gauri Das: 07809 954 8673 (m)
(Photos, general); Radha Mohan: 07818 815 978 (m); [email protected]