admin, festival committee at loggerheads over  animal sacrifice
press trust of india
Bolangir, 6 Janauary
In an attempt to end the practise of mass sacrifice animals and birds during the Sulia festival by the tribals, the district administration today clamped prohibitory orders to curb the killings, official sources said.
The administration had clamped prohibitory orders, a day ahead of the Sulia festival in which scores of animals and birds are sacrificed by tribals in Odisha’s Bolangir district.
District collector M Muthukumar said the administration had convened a meeting on Saturday, which was attended by tribal representatives and the local panchayat, and requested them to do away with the practise of mass sacrifice as against the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The three places identified as vulnerable areas are Bada Khala, San Khala and New Khala areas of Khairgura village where mass sacrifices are done every year as part of the tribal rituals, he said.
However, the tribal representatives spoke in support of continuation of the sacrifice and urged the administration not to meddle in their age-old tradition.
The administration will take preventive measures to reduce the volume of animal sacrifice, the collector said adding it would also create awareness among tribals against mass sacrifice of birds and animals.
Sub-Divisional Police Officer, Bolangir Sadar, Narayan Naik said large scale police arrangement would be made in the vulnerable areas to maintain law and order. Prohibitory orders were clamped in two ‘khalas’ and at least 22 persons including some priests were banned from entering the festival site last year.
But, it hardly had any effect on the tribals as they had created a new site ‘New Khala’ and carried out the mass sacrifices last year.