Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Jashipur, Mar 18:
Around 300 tribal villagers of Mayurbhanj district who on Thursday had gone for hunting wild animals were stopped by the forest officers of Simlipal Tiger Reserve.
Acting on a tip off, forest department officials prevented around 300 tribals who had put parts of the forest on fire to create panic among the wild animals to hunt them.
Tribals dressed to teeth with traditional weapons from 10 villages had come to celebrate the Akhand Shikar ritual inside the Simlipal forest yesterday.
Akhand Shikar, the annual mass hunting ritual of the local tribal people. Akhand Shikar traditionally begins with tribals offering prayers to their deities on Mahabishub Sankranti before setting out on hunting expeditions in the forests of Similipal. The hunt is in open defiance of forest and environment laws protecting wildlife.
The forest officials who were on high alert, counseled the tribals and succeeded in dissuading them of mass killing wild animals.