Call to ban animal cruelty in temple near Karla caves
Every year, during the month of March, at the Ekvira Mata Mandir situated near Karla caves, Lonavla, a substantial number of animal sacrifices take place. In commemoration of the Saptami Jatra , which is the seventh day of the Chaitra (harvest season) festival, devotees sacrifice animals, most of them young, in the name of Goddess Ekvira.
Protesting against the practice and branding it an act of cruelty, founder president of Sarva Jeev mangal Pratishthan, Kalyan Gangwal, has written a letter to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis requesting authorities concerned to put an end to the practice, which has been taking place in front of the Buddhist caves, a tourist site.
“The practice is tragic and is happening right outside the Buddhist caves of Karla, which is a major tourist attraction. It should be remembered that animal sacrifices was one of the social evils that Buddha had fought against throughout his lifetime. Two thousand years after his death, we are still practising it, that too in plain sight,” said Gangwal. The festival will begin on March 23 and will go on till March 25.
Commending the police action against liquor being brought inside the temple campus during rituals last year, Gangwal has requested a ban on the butcher shops lined up along the hill road to the temple. In addition to this, he has also requested a ban on sale of live animals including goats, sheep and chicken around the hill area, citing that such rituals of slaughter and sacrifice are illegal. For propagating more awareness and gathering more support, the organisation would also be campaigning extensively against the practice, he said.