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HindustanTimes Sat,27 Dec 2014

'Dev Samaj' to file review petition over ban on animal sacrifice

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times   Shimla, September 02, 2014
First Published: 20:48 IST(2/9/2014) | Last Updated: 20:49 IST(2/9/2014)

A day after the Himachal Pradesh high court banned animal sacrifice at religious places, 'Dev Samaj' is gearing up to filea  review petition in the high court. 

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Kullu legislator Maheshwar Singh, who is the main guardian of the Raghunath Temple in Kullu and also represents 'Dev Samaj', said that animal sacrifice is a matter of public sentiments.

“Animal sacrifice is a part of a tradition which is thousands of years' old and to ban it is not in the people's interests as public sentiments are attached to it,” he said. 

Maheshwar Singh, scion of the erstwhile princely state of Kullu and president of the Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP), said that he would also consult all Kardars (heads of the temple management committee) on this issue.

“Kardars have been contacting me over the ban and we will hold a meeting and after that we will file a review petition in the high court,” Singh said.

He also said that animal sacrifice has been banned only in religious places while animal slaughtering is on in slaughter houses. The practice of animal sacrifice, he said, is also prevalent in several states besides Himachal Pradesh.

“I had submitted my suggestion in the high court apprising it of the public sentiments on the issue and we will knock at the doors of the court again for reviewing of the decision,” Maheshwar told HT. 
There are over 360 deities in the Kullu valley.

Maheshwar Singh said that the people in the valley are religious and have faith in the century-old tradition of animal sacrifice in temples.

He questioned the rationale behind banning animal sacrifice in religious function even as animal slaughtering for meat production is allowed. 

 “If the court will not accept our petition, we will call a 'Dev Sansad' to seek the opinion of deities, he said while adding that  hill folks have a tradition to consult deities almost on every matter. 

'Dev Sansad' is held at Jagat Sukh of Naggar in Kullu district. The Dev Sansad was last called in 2008 where all the deities unanimously resolved to oppose the government move to set up the 'Ski village' project. 

On Monday, the Himachal Pradesh high court, on a petition filed by Sonali Purewall in 2012, passed a landmark order to ban animal sacrifice in religious places.

Terming it barbaric, the court also directed all deputy commissioners (DCs), Superintendents of Police (SPs) and station house officers (SHOs) to ensure compliance of the order.

The court also asked the government to sensitise the people in this regard and also said that ritualistic worship and its continuation must change in the modern era.

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