India: Hindu groups use cow urine to keep Muslims away from festivals

The cow (and its byproducts) are considered sacred by many of India's Hindus. In photo: A garba dance festival in the Indian state of Gujarat. Photograph:( AFP )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Oct 08, 2016, 02.58 AM (IST)

Militant Hindu organisations the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad are sprinkling cow urine on people attending an annual dance festival, ostensibly to keep Muslims at bay, in India's western state of Gujarat.

The cow (and its byproducts) are considered sacred by many of India's Hindus. 

The Hindu organisations have been screening visitors -- in, it must be said, unhygienic fashion -- at "garba" dance venues during Navratri, a festival dedicated to the worship of the Hindu goddess Durga, The Times of India reported. 

The report added that local police have not done much to dissuade the Hindu organisations.

The Times of India report said, "The police appears reluctant to act against the miscreants who have been making brazen statements and can be easily identified from photographs published in local newspapers. While police have been asked to increase vigil around 'garba' venues during evening hours, this hasn't deterred the emboldened saffron outfits."

Devduttsinh Raol, an IT professional based in Gujarat's capital city of Gandhinagar, had approached the police, asking that the screening procedure be put an end to. But the police seemed hesitant to crack down on the Hindu groups. 

Raol had to ask a senior officer for help before police finally took cognisance of the matter.