500-year-old Tripura Sundari temple goes without animal sacrifice this Durga Puja after HC ban
For the first time in over 500 years, Tripura Sundari temple, one of the 51 Hindu shaktipeethas of the country, went without animal sacrifice in Durga Puja after the state’s high court banned the practice last month.
Earlier, the district administration under directions from the state government used to offer one goat daily during Durga Puja for sacrifice in the temple. Similarly a large number of other animals were also sacrificed during Diwali celebrations.
Last month, the Tripura high court banned animal sacrifices in temples following a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by one retired judge Subhash Bhattacharjee in 2018.
Head priest of Tripura Sundari Temple Chandan Chakraborty said that the order regarding animal sacrifices ban came from local administration on October 5, the day of Saptami.
“Without animal sacrifices, puja is not completed as it is a part of the puja in Matabari (Tripura Sundari temple). The ban on animal sacrifices is affecting our puja,” said Chakraborty.
Located in Udaipur of Gomati district, 55 kilometres from Agartala, the Tripura Sundari temple is considered to be one of the holiest shrines of the country. According to Tripura’s royal record, the erstwhile king Dhanya Manikya Bahadur built the temple in 1501 following a divine order from ‘Aadishakti’ in his dream.
The high court order has divided the state. Pintu Debnath, a grocer of the locality welcomed the court’s decision and said, “Whenever I visited the temple, I usually avoided watching the animal sacrifices. The high court really relieved the age-old practice of animal sacrifices.”
Amrit Lal Bhattacharya, a devotee in the temple, said, “The court order gives a relief to the animals. But on the other hand, it also hurts the sentiments of the devotees who come with animals for sacrifice in the temple to fulfill their desires.”
Tripura Law minister Ratan Lal Nath had announced last week that the government would file a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court against the high court order.
“The High Court order evoked mixed reactions in the state. The matter needs to be decided in a wider spectrum. So, we have decided to file a Special leave Petition in the Supreme Court over the order. If the order comes from there, it will be smooth for us to implement it,” said Nath.
The HC also ordered the concerned district magistrates to install cameras at Tripureswari or Tripurasundari temple in Gomati district and Chaturdash Devata Bari Temple in West district where act of animal sacrifices are carried out in large numbers.
Prior the government, royal scion Pradyot Kishore Deb Burman said he would challenge the High Court order and file a petition in the Supreme Court.