Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bolangir, Jan 10:
Tribals in Odisha’s Bolangir district are in high spirits with just two days left for the gory tribal festival of animal sacrifice- Sulia Yatra on Tuesday.
The Supreme Court’s refusal in September last year to interfere with religious practices while stating that judiciary could not stop centuries-old traditions of sacrificing animals by different communities, has boosted the spirit of the tribals.
While the tribals have demanded withdrawal of cases against them over animal sacrifices during the Sulia Yatra in previous years, interestingly the chief priest of Sulia Yatra Biranchi Kanhar has made a complete U-turn and has requested the district administration to stop animal sacrifice during the Yatra.
Leader of the Opposition in the Odisha Assembly and local MLA Narasingha Mishra attended a meeting of the tribals at Khairaguda on Saturday and demanded immediate withdrawal of cases by the district administration against tribals for committing animal sacrifices in light of the apex court decision.
“The Supreme Court has in its judgment has clearly stated that no one can interfere in traditions practiced by adivasis. We will request the government to withdraw cases against adivasis in previous years on account of animal sacrifice,” said Mishra.
As per tradition of adivasis animals and birds in thousands are butchered on Sulia Yatra day but for the last one decade Sulia Sanskar Manch had voiced its opposition against animal sacrifice following the High Court had directed the district administration and had imposed restrictions on the merciless practice. On violation of the imposition, the district administration used to register cases against the adivasis for such practices.
“After going through the Supreme Court verdict, I and the SP will take a decision. District and police administration has planned an awareness campaign against animal sacrifice we will undertake it,” said Muthukumar, collector Bolangir.
On the other hand, chief priest of Sulia Yatra Biranchi Kanhar has said that he has written to the district administration appealing it to stop animal sacrifice during Sulia Yatra at Khairaguda.
Meanwhile, a meeting has been scheduled for tomorrow between the Sulia Yatra Committee of adivasis and the district administration, reports said.