Phidim Bazaar shut down over arrests for cow slaughter

Phidim Bazaar, district headquarter of Panchthar in eastern Nepal, came to a complete standstill today as a result of general strike ‘banda’ called by different political parties and ethnic organizations protesting arrests of six men on charges of cow slaughter and demanding immediate and unconditional release of those arrested.

Businesses and government and non-government offices were affected due to the banda. The organizations, in a statement released, warned of further protests if the district administration did not heed to their demands while Chief District Officer informed that those arrested would be presented to the court today.

Indigenous Kirat people who traditionally consume beef predominantly populate Panchthar. However, existing laws of Nepal criminalizes slaughtering cow – a holy animal for Hindus – though the country has been officially declared as a secular republic. This results in frequent controversial legal actions on charges of cow slaughter.

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