Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarma

Former president of Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) and royal scion Pradyot Kishore Deb Burman has said he would move the Supreme Court against Tripura High Court’s ban on animal sacrifices in temples.

The judgment evoked serious controversy in different quarters including in the temple management committees.

According to reports, the judgment was not complied with in Mata Tripureswari temple in Udaipur in the past two days where everyday around a hundred animals are sacrificed.

The temple committee argued that the high court had directed the chief secretary, DMs and SPs to issue notification banning animal sacrifice in the temples, provide shelter to the animals in the temple premises and publicise its order.

However, soon after the judgment, people in support of the decision are demanding immediate implementation, and threatening contempt of court in case of non-compliance.

“It’s a century old tradition… the sudden ban hurts the sentiments of Hindu believers,” said a priest of Tripureswari temple, adding that the practice of animal sacrifice in the temple is not the decision of the government.

“So, even if court directs, the state administration cannot implement it without convincing the devotees,”he stated.

He pointed out that the judgment came out right at the onset of Sharad festival.

He said sacrificing an adult buffalo along with goats and birds on the ninth day of Durga puja (Maha Navami) has been part of the rituals since time immemorial at Durgabari in Agartala,.

Animal sacrifice is part of age-old rituals followed in Tripureswari temple and Kamleswari temple on Diwali, which cannot be stopped with the direction of any court, he stated.

Pradyot Kishore Deb Burman has also argued on the same lines and decided to move the apex court challenging the order of Tripura High Court.

He said: “The HC cannot interfere in customs, culture and has gone beyond its jurisdiction. It was expected that the court would pass the judgement based on discussion with the stakeholders and public opinion on the matter, but it was not done.”

Prior to moving the SC, Pradyot wants to come up with a more humane solution to limit the animal sacrifices in the temples in discussion with the religious heads and civil society and pass it on to SC.

“There should be a debate on this within the society so as to form a system of minimising animal sacrifices in the temples,” he asserted.

Pradyot opined high court has no role between the god and devotees and questioned if the court can pass similar order for Bakri-Eid.

“I want to ask the court if it can pass similar order for the Muslims or is it restricted to the Hindu rituals only?”he asked.

Justifying his stand, Pradyot stated that the court’s decision also breached the merger agreement that allowed people of the state follow their religion, beliefs and rituals.

He said:”The high court cannot overrule the provisions of the merger agreement which was signed on October 15, 1949 between Regent Maharani Kanchan Prabha Devi and the governor general of India”.

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