Jagathsinghpur, October 19( Odisha.in) Despite ban on animal sacrifice, reports of animal slaughtering continues in different Devi peeths of Jagatsinghpur district.
Though rate of animal sacrifice has been reduced because of intervention of social activists but prevalence of animal sacrifice is going on at Sirlo and Bhagbanpur villages of this district.
Durga Puja is being celebrated since 250 years ago at Bhagbanpur village under Jagatisnghpur police station by six Bengali families. Due to fund crunch and lack of man power, now villagers of Bhagabanpur have joined their hand to perform Durga puja festival with much gaiety.
Speaking from his past experience, 75-year old Jitendranath Mukherjee,of Bhagbanpur village said that earlier hundreds of devotees were sacrificing animals to appease Maa Durga, but now few goats , sheeps and cocks are scarified to maintain the old tradition and culture on the occasion of Mahastami.
Besides this, animal sacrifice has also prevailed at the Durga temple of Sirlonabgram village under Raghunathpur block. Old timers say that the practice has been on since 1586 and locals believed that offering an animal to the goddess cure them of diseases, solve all the problems relating marriage , birth, litigations etc.
Some social activists led by former speaker of Orissa Assembly, Yudhister Das had initiated steps to put an end to the animal sacrifice in this area but failed due to.non-cooperation of the local people who believe that any deviation from the century long tradition might prove devastating for the people of the area.
Every year more than 2000 to 3000 devotees sacrificed animals like sheeps, goats, and buffaloes before goddess Durga.
K.C.Mohapatra and seven others of the village had filed a PIL in Orissa High Court against the ongoing animal sacrifice and the court had issued directives to stop the slaughter.But it could not prevent the animal sacrifice in different devi temples in the area and elsewhere.
Durga puja and Harparbati puja have performed at 130 pandals of this district. As a symbolic animal sacrifice,the devotes offer white guards, pumpkins etc. in lieu of the animals in many pandals.