Eight persons attempted suicide in India’s Gujarat State on Thursday after their demand that the cow be named the country’s national animal was not met, the reports said.
India’s Hindu majority regards cows as holy and their slaughter is banned in several regions.
One of the election promises of the Hindu nationalist, Bharatiya Janata, party before it swept to power in 2014 was that it would bring in necessary legal framework to protect the cow.
Gujarat, in western India, is the Prime Minister at Narendra Modi’s home state.
Eight members of the Gau Raksha Samiti in the town of Rajkot submitted a memorandum to the district administration demanding that the cow should be a designated national animal within 24 hours.
“When their demands were not met, they consumed a poisonous pesticide in front of the district office on Thursday.
“They were rushed to the hospital and all were out of danger, police official Manish Nakum,’’said.
Dhaval Pandya, a member of the cow protection organisation said that the cows needed to be protected.
“If we want to protect our cows, we need to declare it as national animal and we must declare it as “Rashtra Mata’’, national mother.
“Saints and cow protectionists from across the country have been staging protest in New Delhi in the last 18 days but government has not responded to them,” he said.