Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bolangir, Jan 11:
The Bolangir district administration like previous years failed to convince the adivasis from stopping animal sacrifice during the famous Sulia Yatra to be held tomorrow.
The Bolangir collector today held a meeting with pro and anti animal sacrifice groups. With adivasi leaders remaining adamant to go ahead with animal sacrifice during the Yatra, the talks have failed.
“The Yatra will be held as per tradition. The main component of Sulia Yatra is animal sacrifice. We are surely going to sacrifice animals. We will continue with our practice of animal sacrifice as in earlier years,” said Maya Pradhan, a member of the Sulia Puja Committee.
“Attention will be paid to avoid any kind of disturbance, we have promised the collector on that account. Our age-old practice of animal sacrifice will continue,” said Dija Dalpati, a leader of the District Adivasi Kalyan Samiti.
“They had come to discuss on the traditional practice of sacrificing animals during the Yatra. In accordance with the Supreme Court ruling we are not going to directly interfere with their traditional practice and customs. But we will certainly create awareness that animal sacrifice should not be done. We won’t allow children to go near the place where animals will be sacrificed. The area will covered and cordoned off,” said Narayan Nayak, SDPO Bolangir.
“We will only create awareness against animal sacrifice as you all know that the Supreme Court has ruled that the judiciary even cannot interfere with traditional practices and customs. The district administration and police will persuade the tribals to reduce the number of animals sacrificed,” said M Muthukumar.
On the other hand, the chief priest of the Sulia Yatra has appealed in writing to the collector and SP yesterday to stop animal sacrifice during the Yatra.
“I am the chief priest. I have met and petitioned the collector and SP requesting them to stop animal sacrifice during the Yatra,” said Biranchi Kanhar, chief priest Sulia Yatra.