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From the GoatWorld "why those dirty rats" department:
Animal sacrifice rampant in Orissa
(Bhubaneswar, October 26)
THOUSANDS OF animals were sacrificed at various places in Orissa to propitiate gods and goddesses during Durga Puja this week. Despite strong opposition from animal rights organisations and efforts by the administration, the practice is rampant in several towns and villages.
On Mahashtami day, at Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district, thousands of goats were sacrificed on the occasion of 'chhatar yatra' of Goddess Manikeswari. Devotees brought these animals for slaughter for fulfilment of their wishes.
Around one lakh people visited the Manikeswari temple on the occasion. In Satbhaya in coastal Kendrapara district, over 100 animals were sacrificed at Panchubarahi temple the same day.
According to villagers, mass sacrifice is conducted twice every year, during Durga Puja and 'Chaitra Purnima'. The practice gained popularity at Satbhaya village which is threatened by an advancing sea, which has gobbled up large acres of land in the area. Thus villagers take recourse to animal sacrifice to appease the deity to escape nature's wrath.
"None can force us to abandon this practice as it is being done as per desires of Goddess Panchubarahi," a villager said. The practice began in the village in the 18th century when the zamindar of Kanika installed the idol there. About 1,000 goats were slaughtered at Sirlo in Cuttack district on Mahashtami day in the presence of a large crowd.
Animal sacrifice is widely practised during Dussehra in tribal areas and selected places in western Orissa. But the practice was stopped in Kandhamal district after intervention from authorities. Sacrifice was stopped at the Cuttack Chandi temple after campaign by former CM Harekrishna Mahtab.
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