Balangir: Hundreds of tribals today observed the annual ‘Sulia Jatra’ at Khairguda village in Odisha’s Balangir district sacrificing animals despite appeal and awareness by the local administration to refrain from the same.
The tribals marched in a procession to the ritual site at Khairguda and performed animal sacrifice at a place this morning. As many as five platoons of police force, a DSP and four magistrates were present at the spot, reports said.
To propitiate the presiding deity, the devotees throng the Khairguda village of Kultapada panchayat under Tusura police limits of Balangir district on the second Tuesday of Pousa month every year with hens and goats for sacrifice.
They believe that offering blood of animals and birds to Sulia, their traditional deity, brings good harvest resulting in prosperity and happiness to their families and the community as a whole.
Notably, there had been a tussle between the district administration and Zilla Adivasi Sangha in the past following Orissa High Court orders to abolish such practice and mass killing of animals. But after the Supreme Court of India’s verdict to respect tribal rituals and traditions, the district administration has kept itself away from opposing the animal offering. It only beefs up security during the festival to avoid any untoward situation.
Adequate security arrangement was made to maintain law and order situation this year as well. In absence of any prohibitory order, the police limited its role to crowd control.