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Uttarakhand, famous for its Char Dham Yatra, is set to get a cow pilgrimage centre or gau teerth soon. Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat is learnt to have given his go-ahead for setting up of such a centre at Katarpur village in Haridwar on the suggestion of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
In a closed-door meeting held earlier this week, RSS joint general secretaries Krishna Gopal and Dattatreya Hosabale along with other RSS leaders met Rawat and a few ministers in the state. “Efforts for cow protection, including freeing grazing land for cows that have been encroached upon, reopening closed cow shelters, and increasing budget for cow protection were discussed at the meeting along with the construction of a cow memorial in Katarpur,” said L P Jayswal, who is the kshetra samajik samrasta sanyojak with the RSS, and was present at the meeting.
Jayswal said Kartarpur village was where many Hindus had laid down their lives while protesting against killings of cows way back in 1918. “In 1918, at least four Hindus were hanged to death, and about 130 were sent to the Kala Pani prison [in Andaman and Nicobar Islands] by the British for opposing cow killings in the village,” Jayswal said, adding developing the village into a gau teerth would also include the construction of a cow memorial in the village, and organising fairs around cow protection.
While confirming that CM Rawat has agreed to set up the cow protection centre, Jayswal, however, said there was no discussion on when the work on the centre would start.
In another decision on cow protection, Rawat had on July 26 agreed to a collaboration between the Uttarakhand government and Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Yogpeeth to set up a gau dham – a “world-class” facility to “promote cow protection”, while focussing on the formulation and sale of products from cows including that from its milk and urine.