NEW DELHI (AFP) — Police arrested three animal rights campaigners for protesting bullfighting in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the Press Trust of India reported Friday.
Ingrid Newkirk, president of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an international animal welfare group, was taken into custody Thursday after she blindfolded a statue of Indian freedom champion Mahatma Gandhi.
Two other PETA activists were also arrested in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore district on charges of "hurting the religious sentiments" and unruly behaviour, police said.
The activists said they blind-folded Ghandi's statue to express their resentment against the centuries-old sport, staged every year on January 16.
The three were released on bail later Thursday.
Last week, India's Supreme Court banned bullfighting, calling it barbaric but later eased the restriction on condition the tradition is held under government supervision to avoid cruelty.
During the fights bulls are forced to drink liquor and have chili powder punched into their eyes before thousands of revellers wrestle them down, often killing the beasts.
PETA activists in fluffy cow suits stalked then-Indian premier Atal Behari Vajpayee during his September 2000 trip to the United States to protest the manner in which cows were slain for meat and skin in the South Asian nation.
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