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maneka gandhiUnion Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi on Wednesday called for a nation-wide online protest for ending cow slaughter and suggested banning zoos across the country.

During an hour-long live interaction on social media, she took questions from online users on a range of subjects. It was held to discuss the ministry’s achievements on completion of two years of Modi government in office.

“I am trying desperately to stop it (cow slaughter). The root of all this lies in banning the oxytocin injection and I am at the Health Minister’s door every day asking him to have it totally banned.

“You will see that cows will not be sold for slaughter then. We need a nation-wide protest through the net to stop this,” she said in response to a question.

Gandhi, also an animal rights activist, suggested banning zoos, alleging they are “no longer a place for amusement” for children and are used by “anti-social elements”.

“I am totally against zoos. They should be virtual. Or you can watch National Geographic and Discovery (channels). Zoos are hell on earth and should all be closed down. In any case they are no longer places where people bring children to. Most of them are for anti-social elements who simply tease these poor caged creatures till they die. There are no trained staff and mortality is high. Most of the animals are clinically depressed and want to die,” she wrote to a question on virtual zoos.

Other questions dealt with section 498A of IPC, which pertains to the anti-dowry law, with some even asking an amendment to it.

“Law exists to penalise those misusing the provisions,” she said replying to a question on fake dowry cases.

Nearly one lakh people participated in the live chat which began at 9 AM. They shot questions ranging from women’s security, policies and schemes of the ministry to child health and foster care.

Due to heavy rush of questions, Gandhi assured the users that she would make this exercise a regular practice. “Facebook Live Chat will be a regular feature as it is one of the finest ways to connect with people in the tech-savvy world,” she said.

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