Tripura government likely to challenge HC ban on animal sacrifice

The state government can either file a review petition in Tripura HC or challenge the order in Supreme Court. 

Published: 28th September 2019 05:06 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th September 2019 08:36 PM   |  A+A-

Villagers watch as a buffalo is sacrificed at a temple (File Photo | AP)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The BJP government in Tripura may challenge Tripura High Court’s judgement of Friday, which banned animal sacrifice in temples across the state, in the Supreme Court.

The state government said it would take a call on either implementing the court’s order or moving “higher up” after examining the judgement.

“We’ve asked the Advocate General to sit with us with the court order by tomorrow (Sunday). We want to see what all is there in the judgement. The Chief Minister (Biplab Kumar Deb) is in Delhi. He is coming today. After examining everything, we will do the needful,” Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath told this newspaper.

“We’ll see if we have to implement it or go to higher up,” he added.

The state government can either file a review petition in Tripura HC or challenge the order in Supreme Court. The BJP’s state spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharjee sought to evade a query on the party’s position on animal sacrifice in temples.

“We haven’t yet received the court order and we never discussed this (animal sacrifice) within the party. Once we receive a copy of the order, we will discuss it,” he said.

After hearing a petition filed by a retired judge, Subhash Bhattacharjee, a division bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjoy Karol and Justice Arindam Lodh, passed the judgement which reads, “No person including the state shall be allowed to sacrifice any animal/bird within the precincts of any one of the temples within the State of Tripura…”

It ordered the state government to open shelter homes for rearing animals donated by devotees in temples.

Two temples in the Northeast where animal sacrifice is common are Tripureshwari in Tripura and Kamakhya in Assam.

The Tripureshwari temple, also known as Matabari, is considered as one of the 51 Shakti Peethas. The main shrine was erected by Maharaja of Tripura Dhanya Manikya in 1501. The state government has proposed to develop it as an international tourist destination.

Pradyot Kishore Deb Barman, who belongs to the royal family, said the court should have spoken with all stakeholders before pronouncing the judgement.

A priest of Tripureshwari said animal sacrifice at the temple had been going on for centuries. He said ten to 80 birds and animals were sacrificed every day.

The authorities of Kamakhya said animal sacrifice was part of the temple’s tradition.

“It’s part of our tradition but we don’t force devotees to offer animal sacrifice. On our part, we sacrifice a goat during the performance of first puja every day,” Bhupesh Sarmah of the temple management committee said.
 

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