80 animals slaughtered during festival

Kendrapara: Defying orders, about 80 animals were slaughtered as part of 'Chaitra Purnima' festival at a temple in Kendrapara district leading to criminal cases being registered against locals and probe ordered into alleged participation by police personnel.
 
A case under section 429 (Mischief by killing or maiming animals) of IPC and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1986, has been registered in connection with the animal sacrifice ritual that took place yesterday. It is being probed whether the policemen involved themselves in the unlawful observance, Kendrapara superintendent of police Sarthak Sarangi said on Friday.
 
The animal sacrifice ritual took place in Panchavarahi Temple in seaside Satabhaya gram panchayat of Kendrapara district which locals believe would save them from the scourge of the sea.
 
It was alleged that policemen offered the first sacrifice. Hundreds of locals congregated at the shrine to witness the animal sacrifice which lasted for three hours.
 
The local administration had earlier convened a meeting with the local people and had urged them to stop the practice of animal sacrifice as it violated the law. "We were forced to initiate legal action for the act of defiance by the people, Sarangi said.
 
The practice is in accordance with the Shakti cult, the locals believe and take place twice a year – during Chaitra Purnima and Durga Puja.