Two Indian pilgrims were killed and 16 others were injured on Wednesday in the Mahottari district of Nepal. They all were returning after taking part in an animal sacrifice at Gadhimai temple when a jeep they were travelling in met with an accident. There were a total 18 people travelling in the jeep. The deceased have been identified as Barniya Devi Shah who was 65 years old and was a resident of Sitahi in Bihar and Sakuntala Devi Shah, 80, who hailed from Dhanushadham in Dhanusha district, police reported.
The Gadhimai festival is one of the world’s largest animal sacrifice events that happens every 5 years in Bara district located about 160 km south of Kathmandu. The festival is considered the largest mass slaughter of animals on the planet. The Hindu religious festival has been held regularly since the last 260 years in Bariyarpur. It is estimated that 500,000 goats, Buffaloes, Pigeons and other animals were slaughtered in 2009. The number has since then dropped to 30,000 in 2014.
Thousands of people have poured in for the day-long festival in Nepal. Animal rights, civil society as well as vegan groups have been constantly complaining for the past few months to end the bloodshed. The Gadhimai festival kicked off this year in the early morning on Tuesday when the priest sacrificed a goat, rat, chicken, pig and a pigeon following which he offered blood from his own body.
Meanwhile, Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said on Monday that his health condition is gradually improving after undergoing an appendicitis surgery last week at a hospital in Kathmandu. The Prime minister was initially kept on ventilator after undergoing his surgery. But after his condition significantly improved, he was taken off ventilator. He also posted a video informing his followers that he is recovering. The Nepalese Prime Minister has been keeping ill for quite some time now.