With the practice of ritual killing and offering of animals being common in the state, the Kullu Devi Devta Kardar Sangh, an organisation representing hundreds of temples in the district, plans to convene a meeting over the Himachal Pradesh high court's order imposing a comprehensive ban on animal sacrifice at all places of worship in the state.
Hundreds of goats are regularly sacrificed at temples every year to “appease” local deities on the eve of 'Ashtmi' and other Hindu festivals.
In a landmark judgment delivered on Monday following a writ petition filed in the court, a division bench comprising justices Rajiv Sharma and Sureshwar Thakur 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.
Danvender Singh Kardar of the Raghunath temple, situated in Kullu district, where the well-known Dussehra festival is celebrated with fervour every year, said the Kardar Sangh would request the high court to review its order.
Manali Vikas Munch president Dharamveer Dami said: "We will file a review petitionin the high court as the matter concerns our traditional culture."
Meanwhile, Kullu legislator Maheshvar Singh said the Kardar Sangh would soon convene a meeting to discuss the issue and request the high court to review its order.
On Monday the court had observed that “the practice of sacrificing animals causes them immense pain and suffering. Innocent animals cannot be permitted to be sacrificed to appease a deity in a brutal manner. Compassion for animals is one of the basic tenets in all faiths. The practice of animal sacrifice is a social evil and is required to be curbed,” adding “whether animal sacrifice can be termed a religious practice or not remains a grey area. People are required to be sensitized on this issue by the state government.”