Bolangir: Despite ban on animal sacrifice as a spiritual ritual, hundreds of animals and birds were slaughtered as part of a ritual on occasion of ‘Sulia Jatra’ at Khairaguda, tribal dominated area in Bolangir district. The tribals argue that their presiding deity will be appeased in animal blood.
Hundreds of animals and birds including goats, sheep, buffaloes, ducks, pigeons and roosters were sacrificed at Badakhala, the main Sulia shrine in Khairguda, Sanakhala in Kumuria, and in adjoining places.
The festival began with a grand procession where priests danced to the beating of drums and playing of tribal musical instruments. Later, the chief priest performed the ritual at the main shrine before carrying out the sacrifice in presence of administrative officials and police personnel, who acted as mute spectators.
Adequate forces have been deployed at the site maintain law and order. Four magistrates, a DSP and five platoons of police have been mobilised to the place. The area was cordoned off and children were prevented from going to the place.
Earlier, the district administration had carried out special awareness drive to minimise the animal sacrifice. But, the administration’s awareness drive seems to have yielded any fruit.