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Jains pose as Muslims to ‘save’ 124 goats from Bakrid sacrifice

Members of the Jain community in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk attempted to ‘save’ goats being sold for sacrifice on Sunday, June 16, ahead of Eid al-Adha (Bakrid). The festival was celebrated by Muslims nationwide on June 17.

A group of about 25 people from the community, dressed as Muslims, set out to “save” goats after raising Rs 15 lakh. The money was collected from members of the Jain community from across the country by sharing a message on WhatsApp groups. The group led by Vivek Jain, 30, a chartered accountant, “saved” 124 goats being sold in the market from sacrifice during the Muslim festival of Bakrid.

Vivek Jain was motivated by his guru Sanjeev to take action over the slaughtering of goats for Bakrid.

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They posed as Muslim buyers and conducted surveys in various goat markets in Old Delhi, including Jama Masjid and Meena Bazar, to purchase goats at a reasonable price.

Despite the challenging bargaining process, they bought the goats for an average of Rs 10,000 each. This event, covered by The Print, drew significant attention and became an online sensation with the hashtag “Jain” trending on social media.

Members of the community stated they were not afraid of being recognised, however, posed as Muslims to avoid being duped by traders and to safeguard their emotions.

“We were not afraid, but we didn’t want the buyers to play with our emotions. Had they known we were non-Muslims, they would have sold the goats to us at a higher price, and we wanted to rescue as many goats as possible,” Vivek was quoted by The Print.

The goats were taken to the Naya Jain Mandir in Dharampur which was transformed into a sanctuary for the animals “rescued” by the proud community. The doors of the sanctuary were open to the community for a unique goat darshan. The initiative highlighted the ongoing debate on vegetarianism and animal cruelty during Muslim festivities.

The operation began with a call from their guru, Sanjeev, prompting Vivek Jain and a team of 25 people to form a plan. They posed as Muslim buyers in various goat markets in Old Delhi, including Jama Masjid and Meena Bazar, to purchase goats at a reasonable price. Despite the challenging bargaining process, they bought the goats for an average of Rs 10,000 each, raising funds from Jain community members across India.

The rescued goats were temporarily housed in the temple’s Dharamshala courtyard, usually reserved for weddings and religious events. With worries over their relocation, the members of the community stated that a Jain-run goat shelter in Baghpat has decided to take them in.

“We are really proud of ourselves. The contribution by our community members from across the country has made it possible. We call it social welfare, and this is what our religion teaches us. This is a ‘historic moment’ for the Jain community of Chandni Chowk. This was our first time, and we will only go forward from here,” said Vivek Jain.

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