KOLKATA - An activist with India's ruling party has been arrested after a volunteer fell ill from drinking cow urine at a party to combat the novel coronavirus, police said Wednesday, as interest grows in home remedies amid the pandemic.
Narayan Chatterjee, a Bharatiya Janata Party activist, was arrested by West Bengal state police late Tuesday for "organising the cow urine consumption event and compelling a civic volunteer to drink cow urine", Kolkata police chief Anuj Sharma told AFP.
"The civic volunteer fell sick on Tuesday and lodged a complaint with the police. The BJP activist was arrested on Tuesday night."
The president of BJP's West Bengal branch told AFP Chatterjee's arrest was "unfortunate".
"India is a democratic country. Everyone has the right to express his opinion," Dilip Ghosh said.
"It's unfortunate that Chatterjee was arrested for expressing his opinion organising the event. We don't know if the civic volunteer was forced to drink cow urine."
Many in the Hindu-majority nation of 1.3 billion consider cows sacred and believe drinking cow urine is a panacea for all manner of ailments, from arthritis and asthma to cancer and diabetes.
Last week, dozens of Hindu activists held a cow urine party in the capital New Delhi where they staged fire rituals and drank urine from earthen cups in order to fight the COVID-19.