BHAWANIPATNA: The Supreme Court has issued an interim stay on Orissa High Court order banning animal sacrifice during Chatar Yatra at the Manikeswari temple here.
On January 6, a division bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice S Panda and Justice SK Sahoo, hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by one Jayanti Das of Cuttack, had imposed a blanket ban on sacrifice of animals/birds during Chatar Yatra.
The court had fixed responsibility on Collector and SP of Kalahandi to ensure the ban is imposed in letter and spirit.
Aggrieved over the order, Bhawani Shankar Nial, a local had filed a writ petition before the Supreme Court.
The petition mentioned that the person who had filed the PIL in the High Court is not a resident of Kalahandi and has no knowledge of Chatar Yatra. It added that the PIL sought to interfere with the age-old customs and religious beliefs of the people of Kalahandi.
Addressing media persons here on Saturday, Nial welcomed the stay ordered issued by the apex court and said it has come as a relief for devotees who were uncertain whether they would be able to continue the practice this year. Chatar Yatra is celebrated every year on Mahanavami.
As per tradition, the chatar of Goddess Manikeswari, after rituals at Jenakhal on the outskirts of the town, is brought back to the temple in a procession.
Devotees, then sacrifice animals to appease the deity. A few of them also release doves in the sky and offer coconuts to the deity. Around 4-5 lakh devotees from different parts of Odisha and neighbouring states participate in the yatra.