PIL filed in HC to ban animal sacrifice during ‘Chhatar Jatra’

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Bhawanipatna: A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in Orissa High Court seeking a ban on animal sacrifice during the famous ‘Chhatar Jatra’ of Maa Manikeswari at Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district.

The PIL filed by social activist Jayanti Das urged the court to instruct Kalahandi district administration to check mass sacrifice of animals including goats, hens and roosters.

Odisha Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, Home Secretary Asit Kumar Tripathy, DGP RP Sharma, Kalahandi Collector Anjan Kumar Manik, Kalahandi SP Madkar Sandeep Sampat along with Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) Secretary Ajay Narayan Jha have been made parties in the petition.

As per the petition, during Dussehra hundreds of animals are sacrificed on the three kilometre-main road stretching from Jenakhala to Manikeswari temple in Bhawanipatna and is a gross violation of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

Animal sacrifice was carried out during the festival last year despite a ban clamped under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and different sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Earlier today, Kalahandi Collector Anjan Kumar Manik chaired a preparatory meeting on the upcoming Chhatar Jatra, to be held on September 28. The meeting was attended by Additional SP, district level officials and locals.

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