SC Stays Orissa HC Order Banning Animal Sacrifice During Chatar Yatra Festival

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has stayed the Orissa High Court order, which termed animal sacrifice a superstition and banned it during the Chatar Yatra festival in Kalahandi district.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde and comprising Justices A S Bopanna and Ramasubramanian said: “Issue notice. There shall be an interim stay of the order in the meanwhile.” The order came on a plea filed by Bhawani Shankar Nial challenging the judgement by the High Court in January this year.

The High Court had said that from Wikipedia, it appears that Chatar Yatra is a traditional festival celebrated by the people of Kalahandi district, Odisha (Orissa) every year. “The District Administration shall sensitize, familiarize and educate the general public particularly the tribal community to desist from such superstitious activity of pleasing the deity Manikeshwari during ‘Chatar Yatra’ by way of animal sacrifices and to adopt an attitude of love and compassion towards all animals/birds”, said the High Court.

According to reports, in September Kalahandi Collector Gavali Parag Harshad had said there will be no congregation near the Manikeswari temple in view of the pandemic and there will also be no animal sacrifice. In a media interaction, Harshad said the district administration had started an awareness campaign to restrain people from this practice.

In its order the High Court had said that like parents cannot tolerate seeing the blood of their children, the deity cannot be pleased by the sacrifice of the animals. “God is the creator of the universe. He has created the human beings, animals, birds and all the species on this earth. The animals and birds breathe like us. They have also a right to live in harmony with human beings and the nature”, said the High Court, insisting that no deity would ever ask for blood.

“Butchery of animals on the public place on the festival day is shocking and horrifying. A civilized society cannot accept to see such activities openly and blood of animals flowing on the streets during the procession of the deity”, noted the High Court.


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