Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Sulia Yatra: Hundreds of goats, birds slaughtered Wednesday, 13 January 2016 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
Wednesday, 13 January 2016 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
Hundreds of animals and birds, including buffaloes, goats, sheep and hens, were killed at Suliapitha near Khairguda village under Tusura police station in Balangir district, much to the dismay of animal lovers once again.
Every year Sulia Yatra is observed by the tribals at Badkhala, near Khairguda village on the second Tuesday of Hindu Calendar month of Pausha where in animals are sacrificed in large numbers. Besides, in Sanakhela, the main place where Sulia Yatra is held, animal killing also takes place with equal ferocity.
Despite wide scale condemnation of the ritual and district administration’s strict no-no, the tribals have been staging the bloodletting defending it as their age old tradition. They are also protesting ban on the killing as interference in their religious belief and customs.
Notably, this year the Supreme Court had clarified that it would not interfere in tribal tradition, custom and religious practices. After the verdict came, the district administration’s role was confined to mere maintenance of law and order.
Just two days ago, a petition by interim managing trustee of Sulias Pitha Biranchi Kaunar to stop animals killing and implement directives of the Orissa High Court to the district administration to take steps to check cruelty to animals had made the expectations high that no animal killing would take place this year. However, things were sorted out among the tribal members at a meeting on Monday last in which it was decided to latch on to the age old rituals at Sulia.
This year, thanks to the verdict of the Supreme Court, there has been no tension in the site. No prohibitory orders were imposed. Devotes brought animals to be slaughtered at the altar of the tribal deity.
“Since last four years I have been visiting the Sulia Pitha. One of my uncles met with an accident. I had prayed to Sulia god to keep my husband safe. His life was saved. As a thank giving to Sulia Budha, I have offered animals and coconut today,” said a woman devotee from Sambalpur.
The Zilla Adivsi Kalyan Sangh welcomed the verdict of the Supreme Court. “We have our own tradition and customs which we observe. The animal killing at Sulia Pitha is going on since years. The interim trustee of Sulia Pitha Biranchi Kaunar had submitted an application with district administration to stop animal killing here. But he was not invited by district administration,” said Zilla Adivasi Kalyan Sangha, Balangir secretary Niranjan Bishi.
After the recent verdict of Supreme Court, we are looking into law and order only. No prohibitory orders have been clamped at Sulia. Adequate forces have been deployed at the sites, said Balangir SP Deepak Kumar.