AGARTALA, Oct 28 - The traditional Diwali festival was celebrated with pomp and gaiety in the more than 500-year-old temple of Mata Tripureswari Temple in Tripura�s ancient town Udaipur and situated in Gomati district.
This year the new elements in the puja and festival was the early morning prayer to the Mother Goddess in the temple as well as in the nearby Kalyan Sagar lake with 20 huge specially made �Mangaldeeps�.
This proved to be a huge success as thousands of people witnessed with awe the rites and rituals preceding the actual puja. Another special feature of the festival this year was the presence of monks and saints from all 51 �Shaktipeeths� from all over the country.
While speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb announced that he would pray for strength from the Mother Goddess so that he can curb corruption in the state and bring to book those who are involved in it.
�Some have taken shelter in the hospitals, let them do so, but I will not relent, corruption will have to be blotted out from Tripura� said the Chief Minister who had inaugurated the ritual Puja through �Mangalarati� and later in the day inaugurated the festival and fair.
What upset some devotees is the ban on animal sacrifice in the temple imposed by the high court. Many devotees felt that this was a major rupture with the past and the tradition, and the government while desisting from sponsoring sacrifice from government fund in compliance with the high court order, could have allowed sacrifice offered by private devotees.
However, no official response was available to the grievance, except that oft-repeated stand that the matter is being appealed in the Supreme Court. The tribal devotees, specially from the Jamatia community, felt hurt by the ban on animal sacrifice in the temple.
Although the state government has filed a Special Leave Petition challenging the High Court�s order on banning animal sacrifice in all the temples of Tripura, the matter is yet to come up for hearing in the apex court.