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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Animal sacrifice stops in temples during Navratras in the Kumaon region

Pithoragarh, October 15
The traditional ritual of animal sacrifice in various temples of local deities in the Kumaon region during Navratras was stopped this year due to the efforts of animal right activists and initiatives shown by temple committees at various places.
According to the information received from Almora district, devotees at temples in Chitai Golu, Jharkar Sam, Mashan and Kailka worshiped the deities with coconut and flowers.
“It was possible with relentless efforts of administration in awakening the villagers about the courts orders and demand of the time, besides the initiatives shown by respective temple committees,” said Pankah Upadhaya, SDM of Almora.
According to priest of Chitai temple, the temple used to attract dozens of animal sacrifices during the Dashera and Navratras since the time the temples was established, but the tradition broke this year, with no animal sacrifice during the festival.
“The police also guarded the temple for 10 days continuously to revert any attempt of animal sacrifice during Navratras,” said the temple priest Hari Vinod pant.
“This year the people came with bells coconuts, and flags to the temple rather than animals for sacrifice,” said pant.
At the Jhakar Sam temple near Almora town, the age-old tradition of animal sacrifice was stopped this year after the local administration succeeded in persuading the temple committee for not resorting to animal sacrifice.
“Instead we told the villagers, they should come with flowers, fruits, clothes and incenses to please the deity, our efforts were helped by the administrative officers and resulted into no animal sacrifice year this year,” said Devi Dutt Pandey, priest of Sam temple at Jhakarsam temple, which had been famous for animal sacrifice traditions in Navaratras.
The news of no animal sacrifice also poured from other places of the region, including Kali temple at Gangolihat in pithoragarh and Kanda in Bageswar districts as the administration kept a strong vigil during the festival.

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