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In Odisha temple, animal sacrifice discontinued due to Covid-19 pandemic

For the primary time in a number of a long time, the ritual of animal sacrifice in a well-known Hindu temple of Odisha couldn’t be held due to Covid-19 restrictions although the Supreme Court had allowed it final week.

The well-known Chhatar Jatra of Manikeswari Temple in western Odisha district of Kalahandi was performed on Saturday amid Covid-19 restrictions and tight safety with out participation of devotees. The competition started early this morning with the procession of Chhatar of Goddess Manikeswari taken to the outskirts of Bhawanipatna city following secret rituals.

As per custom, devotees sacrifice massive numbers of sheep, goats, roosters and pigeons within the hope that Goddess Manikeswari would meet all their needs. However, the Orissa High Court on January 6 had imposed a ban on sacrifice of animals and birds in and round Maa Manikeswari temple. Last week, the Supreme Court had put an interim keep on the High Court order of limiting animal sacrifice throughout the competition.

Despite the SC permitting the sacrifice ritual, the organisers of the competition determined in opposition to the animal sacrifice to stop the unfold of Covid-19. “We had imposed section 144 CrPC around the temple to prevent congregation of people around the temple. The organisers too decided not to go ahead with the animal sacrifice due to Covid-19 restrictions,” a senior official of Kalahandi mentioned.

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