Female PETA India Staff Members Hurt in Attack by Mob of Angry Men Throwing Stones

Group Sent to Hospital After Peaceful Appeal to Bhopal Muslims to Choose Animal-Friendly Alms Over Goat Sacrifice for Eid Sparks Riot Outside Mosque

For Immediate Release:
September 23, 2014

Contact:
Shakira Croce 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – A PETA India staff member, who is Muslim, sustained facial and other wounds  after an apparently planned riot by a group of men broke out in Bhopal, India.. The male mob used violence to end the women’s peaceful appeal for people to celebrate a cruelty-free Id-ul-Zuha, or Bakra Eid. For the holiday, in which alms are given to the poor, thousands of goats have their necks slit on the streets.

The PETA India staff members and some local volunteers had gathered in Bhopal to let people know that a growing number of Muslims now celebrate Eid by giving clothing, money, or fruit, beans, and other cruelty-free food offerings to the poor rather than killing animals and giving the meat away. One Muslim PETA member, wearing a hijab and a dress decorated with vegetables, carried a sign that read, “Make Eid Happy for All: Try Vegan.” Video footage is available here.

Another PETA India staff member had her pants ripped as she tried to get away while the growing mob called for the women to be stripped and stoned, while throwing stones at their faces. The volunteers who had come to hold signs pleading for compassion in the run-up to Eid had to run for their lives as the crowd of angry men swelled to hundreds of men and police lost control. The crowd also reportedly damaged police vans.

“PETA India organizes peaceful animal-protection awareness programs for Christmas, Easter, Diwali, Janmashtami, and other holidays, including Eid,” says PETA President and PETA India founder Ingrid Newkirk, who grew up in India. “It’s shameful that in working to stop violence, our female staff and volunteers experienced a violent attack in a country already under fire for its treatment of women.”

For more information and photos, please visit PETA’s blog.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind