Even as Telugu film star Pawan Kalyan’s latest cinematic outing ‘Bheemla Nayak’ is setting the box-office on fire, some of his diehard fans are facing the heat from animal rights group People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India.
After learning that a group of young men allegedly sacrificed a goat to celebrate the release of ‘Bheemla Nayak’, PETA India worked with senior police officials in Chittoor district to register a first information report (FIR).
The goat was sacrificed at CSN movie theatre, Pileru, Bodumalluvaripalle in Chittoor. The cruel incident caught on video, shows people posing for photos and videos while standing in front of the frightened goat. The video then shows the goat, fully conscious, being beheaded with a sword and the slaughter taking place in full public view. The video also shows a man collecting the blood of the sacrificed goat with his bare hands and smearing it on the movie poster.
The FIR has been registered under Section 6 of the Andhra Pradesh Animals and Birds Sacrifice Prohibition Act, 1950, Sections 34 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, Section 25(1)(A) of the Arms Act, 1959, and Section 11(1)(a) of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960.
“PETA India commends the Chittoor police for taking steps to send the message that cruelty to animals will not be tolerated,” said PETA India emergency response team associate manager, Meet Ashar. “Just as human sacrifice is now treated as murder, at a time when India is embarking on space missions, the archaic practice of animal sacrifice must end. PETA India also recommends that these men undergo psychiatric evaluation and receive counselling, as abusing animals indicates deep mental disturbance.”
In its complaint, PETA India pointed out that Section 5(b) of the Andhra Pradesh Animals and Birds Sacrifices Prohibition Act, 1950, clearly states that no person shall knowingly allow any sacrifice to be performed at any place that is in their possession or under their control. Section 4 prohibits anyone from officiating, performing, serving, assisting, or participating in sacrificing an animal in any congregation. Section 6 prescribes the penalties, and Section 8 makes all offences under the Act cognisable.
The Supreme Court has ruled that animals can be slaughtered only in officially licensed slaughterhouses and that municipal authorities must ensure compliance with this ruling. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules, 2001, and the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011, permit the slaughter of animals for food only in licensed slaughterhouses equipped with species-specific stunning equipment.
Gujarat, Kerala, Puducherry and Rajasthan already have laws in place prohibiting the religious sacrifice of any animal in any temple or its precinct. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana prohibit it in any place of public religious worship or adoration or its precinct or in any congregation or procession connected with religious worship on a public street.