Prohibitory Orders Clamped to Stop Bloodbath during Sulia
By Express News Service | Published: 07th January 2014 10:13 AM |
Prohibitory orders have been clamped at three places in Khairgura village where Sulia festival is celebrated every year. With a day to go for the festival, Section 144 of CrPC has been imposed at those spots where animal sacrifice was made during the festival last year.
As part of celebration, thousands of birds and animals are sacrificed in the village every year. Sulia festival is mainly celebrated by Kondh tribals in the month of Pausa in Hindu calendar. Kondhs believe that sacrifice of animals and birds before Sulia deity would bring prosperity for them.
In order to stop the gory ritual, Balangir Collector M Muthukumar, SP R Prakash and panchayat representatives held a meeting with Sulia Yatra Committee members on Monday.
The appeal of the officers to restrain from animal sacrifice went fruitless as the tribals insisted on continuing it stating that it was one of the oldest festivals in the region.
Following the tribals’ insistence, it was decided that the administration will take preventive measures to reduce the volume of mass sacrifice of animals.
Executive Magistrate Sarat Kumar Bag said the Orissa High Court has banned mass sacrifice of animals for which Section 144 has been clamped at three places in the village. Large scale deployment of police force will be made in the village to avoid any untoward situation. Last year too, prohibitory orders had been clamped in two places and 22 priests were banned from entering the sacrifice sites. But, the tribals shifted to another place and performed animal sacrifice.
Badakhala is a small place near Khairguda that used to witness highest number of slaughtering. After the High Court’s intervention, the animal slaughter could not take place for seven years. But a few years back, members of tribal community renewed the practice of animal sacrifice.
Even as Balangir administration has been blocking march of tribals to the place of animal sacrifice and trying to convince them not to slaughter animals, it has yielded no result.
The tribals justify their action by stating that animal sacrifice during Sulia festival has been carried out from time immemorial and it cannot be stopped under the pressure of animal rights activists.