Wednesday, January 4, 2017

BLOODLETTING CONTINUES AT SULIA YATRA Wednesday, 04 January 2017 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR |

STATE EDITIONS

BLOODLETTING CONTINUES AT SULIA YATRA

Wednesday, 04 January 2017 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
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Hundreds of animals were killed at the altar of Sulia deity at Khairguda, which is known as Badkhala in Deogaon block, on Tuesday irrespective concerns of animal lovers and environmentalists across the State.
Hundreds of hens, goats and sheep were slaughtered as a mark of a long going tribal tradition to appease the goddess at the Sulia Buda site. Reports of killing of buffalos were also received from Saan Khala, another place of the Sulia Yatra.
Every year Sulia Yatra is held on the first Tuesday of the Odia Pausha month at Khairguda in Kultapada gram panchayat in the district, 20 km from here. The tribal devotees have been worshipping Sulia Budha at the village by the side of Sulia Dangar hill for over 100 years. The Yatra has been also observed in the locality for over 100 years.
According to a legend, Sulia Budha deity came from Vindhybasini area. A Nishi puja used to be held first at the mountain top. But later, it was held near the foothill.
Despite prohibition of animal killing by the administration for some years and protests from various quarters to stop the inhuman act, the tribals are unconvinced. Rather they allege it as interference on their freedom to religious practice.
Tribals are nature lovers and worshippers. The tribal villagers collect voluntary donation and with that money they arrange an animal for killing. Tribals also offer milk to tigers with a payer that the animal being the king of forest guard the forest and mountain, said Maya Pradhani.
The tribals are of the opinion that those who do not understand the tribal culture are opposing animal killing which is an integral part of the festivities.
“I have come from Bargarh district .As my wish was fulfilled I offered a goat to the Sulia deity. We had asked the mother goddess to help us so that my sister is married off and she fulfilled it,” said Jayadev Matari of Saharapali.
Another devotee, Satyapriya Sethi of Dumerpali village said, “I have been coming to Sulia for the last four years. As my brothers’ skin ailment was cured, we offered a hen to the deity this year.”
Th Yatra was also held at Kumria, Bihibandh and Mirdhapali.
Meanwhile, Balangir Sub Collector BimalPrasad Mohanty said that all arrangements were made for a hassle free yatra. Four platoons of police, senor police officers, besides Executive Magistrates, have been deployed to maintain law and order, informed SDPO Narayan Naik. 

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