A member of Sanatan Dharma Prachar Seva Samiti, Sadhvi Saraswati, has demanded that those who consume beef should be “executed”, PTI reported on Thursday. “I appeal to the government of India that those people who consider eating the meat of their own mother [cows] as a status symbol, should be hanged to death,” Sadhvi Saraswati said at the inauguration of All India Hindu Convention in Goa on Wednesday.
“Protection of cow is our duty,” The Times of India quoted her as saying. “We should apply the same laws which are applied for homicide cases against people found butchering cattle.”
Sadhvi Saraswati is the president of Sanatan Dharma Prachar Seva Samiti in Madhya Pradesh’s Chhindwara district. The event in Goa was organised by the Hindu Janajagriti Samiti, which is allied to the Sanathan Sanstha – some of whose activists were allegedly involved in the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar in August 2013. More than 130 Hindu organisations, from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal are in Goa to attend the four-day long event.
Sadhvi Saraswati also said it was important for Hindus to keep arms at homes or “we will be destroyed in future”. She also said there was no such thing as “saffron terrorism”, and that “saffron means a life dedicated to the nation and dharma”.
Meanwhile, Sanatan Sanstha spokesperson Abhay Vartak took on the Bharatiya Janata Party government. “There are BJP ministers in Goa who speak in support of beef, in the North East a minister says he eats beef, in Delhi a Union Minister says he loves beef,” Vartak said according to The Indian Express. “Is gau mata food for them?”
The Opposition demanded action against Sadhvi Saraswati. “The state government has become a party to the entire programme by maintaining silence and allowing it to continue,” All India Congress Committee Secretary Girish Chodankar told PTI. He further said that the government should take suo motu cognisance of her statements and file an FIR against her for “hate speech”.