Devotees look for divine help ahead of hearing in apex court

  • Gaurav Bisht, Hindustan Times, Shimla
  • Updated: Oct 08, 2014 19:37 IST

Even as the Supreme Court will hear on Wednesday a special leave petition (SLP) challenging the ban imposed by the Himachal Pradesh high court on animal sacrifice at religious places in the state, the devotees are looking towards deities for divine intervention.

Erstwhile ruler of Kullu Maheshwar Singh, who is the chief guardian of Lord Raghunath, and the Devi Devta Kardar Sangh (organisation of representatives of deities) had moved the apex court after the Himachal Pradesh high court rejected a plea to review the ban on animal sacrifice at religious places across the state.

Before the special leave petition comes up for hearing on Wednesday, the devotees of various deities are hopeful that divine intervention will salvage the age-old tradition of animal sacrifice. “We have firm faith in the divine powers of the deities even as the matter is in the court of law,” said Dhot Ram Thakur, president of the Devi Devta Kardar Sangh, Kullu.

“It is Kalyuga. People have not even spared the deities. Idols of deities have been stolen from the temples,” added Thakur who is repsentative of Devi Dashmi Varda.

“We have full faith in the divine power of deities and hope that the verdict of the Supreme Court over ban on animal sacrifice will come in our favour,” said Joginder Acharya, Kardar of Mata Tripura Sundri at Naggar. “Deities have divine power. They themselves will find out a way,” he added.

A division bench of Himachal Pradesh high court comprising justice Rajiv Sharma and justice Sureshwar Thakur in its interim order on Sep 1, had banned the sacrifice of animals in temples. The bench observed that the practice of animal and bird sacrifice is “abhorrent and dastardly”. It had further observed that animals cannot be permitted to be killed in a barbaric manner to “appease” the gods.

On September 26, the High Court had rejected a plea filed by Maheshwar Singh and the Devi Devta Kardar Sangh to review the interim order, banning animal and bird sacrifice at religious places.

On the call given by Maheshwar Singh, the deities had congregated at Naggar village on September 26 and had “univocally called upon the devotees not to give up their tradition”. However, some of the deities later disapproved animal sacrifice.


Stressing the need for preserving the culture of ‘Dev Pratha’ (tradition of deities), chief minister Virbhadra Singh said that the government was committed to preserving the rich traditions and rituals of deities in the state.

“Our deities are inseparable part of our life,” said Virbhadra Singh while presiding over a meeting of the Kardar Sangh in Dev Sadan at Kullu on Tuesday.

He said that the government had made an allocation of Rs 12.50 crore for religious ceremonies and rituals to be performed in the temples.

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