Following the Himachal Pradesh High Court's recent judgment imposing a comprehensive ban on animal sacrifice at all places of worship, the Dev Samaj, an organisation representing hundreds of Hindu temples in the state, has decided to file a review petition against the court's decision on Friday.
Earlier the Kullu Devi Devta Kardar Sangh, a body representing temples in the district, had convened a meeting on Monday at which it decided to file a petition seeking a review of the ban. With the practice of ritual killing and offering of animals being common in the state, hundreds of goats are regularly sacrificed at temples every year to “appease” local deities on the Dussehra and other Hindu festivals.
In a landmark judgment delivered on September 1, the court ordered a blanket ban on all forms of animal sacrifice and asked all deputy commissioners, superintendents of police, subdivisional officers and police station house officers in the state to comply with the directive. “No person throughout the state of Himachal Pradesh shall sacrifice any animal in any place of public religious worship, including all lands and building near such places of religious worship, which are ordinarily connected for religious purposes or in any ceremony, 'yagya', congregation or procession connected with any religious worship in a public street forthwith,” the court said.
The Dev Samaj has also scheduled a meeting on September 26 in Jagati Patt in Kullu district, at which the Dev Sansad is expected to give its opinion on the court's order to ban animal sacrifice at places of worship.
Kullu MLA Maheshwar Singh said: “The high court's judgment to ban animal sacrifice is shocking and the Dev Samaj has been upset with the decision. Animal sacrifice plays a key role during the popular Dussehra festival. The tradition of offering goats and sheep as sacrifice in temples has been prevalent since ages and the sentiments of hundreds of people are attached with the custom, and I'll fight for this traditional right.”
“The Kardar Sangh has decided to file a review petition against the verdict within a few days and will request the court to look into the matter. The Dev Sansad (jagtti) will be called on September 26 at Naggar in Kullu to discuss the the issue of animal sacrifice in temples of the district, ” Singh added.