Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bolangir, Jan 12:
Amid tug of war among pro and anti-animal sacrifice campaigners, hundreds of tribals today celebrated the annual Sulia Yatra at Khairguda in Odisha’s Bolangir district this morning in the presence of police and district administration officials.
According to reports, the tribals marched in a procession to the ritual site at Khairguda and performed animal sacrifice at the place at around 9 am.
“We are very happy that Supreme Court has ruled in our favour. Our struggle since last 9-10 years has finally been successful. This is our victory and the tribals are very happy over this,” an ecstatic devotee said.
Three platoons of armed police personnel have been deployed at the altar site to maintain law and order. Besides, the area has been cordoned off and children have been prevented from going to the site.
To propitiate the presiding deity, the devotees throng the Khairguda village of Kultapada panchayat under Tusura police limits of Bolangir district on the second Tuesday of Pousa month every year with hen and goats for sacrifice.
The tribals later did the same at Badakhala. 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.
Earlier yesterday, a tri-partite meeting between the pro-animal sacrifice forum Milita Sulia Yatra Manch, the anti-sacrifice Sulia Sanskar Manch and the Bolangir district administration failed.
The meeting presided over by Bolangir District Collector M Muthukumar was convened to persuade the parties to observe the rituals in a low-key manner.