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Tripura govt to move apex court over HC ban on animal sacrifice in temples

By The Assam Tribune

AGARTALA, Oct 1: The Tripura government would soon file a special leave petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court over the Tripura High Court ban on animal sacrifice in all the temples of the state.

State Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Ratan Lal Nath said the High Court judgment has evoked a mixed response from the people in the state, so the state government has decided to move to the apex court.

"We respect the High Court judgment. But as the verdict on this sensitive issue has evoked a mixed response in the state, it needs to be decided in a wider spectrum. Hence, the state government has decided to file an SLP at the Supreme Court over the order," Nath told reporters on Monday night.

Religion is a personal matter. There are many sects among the Hindus, who can opt for any choice. Tantriks believe that no puja is complete without sacrifice. We do not want to hurt anyone's religious beliefs, Nath said.

A division bench of the Tripura High Court comprising Chief Justice Sanjoy Karol and Justice Arindam Lodh had pronounced on September 27 that "no person including the state shall be allowed to sacrifice any animal or bird within the precincts of any of the temples within the state of Tripura."

However, despite the Tripura High Court banning sacrifice of animals and birds for religious reasons in all temples of the state, the practice continues unabated in the renowned Tripureswari temple in Gomati district.

Manager of Tripureshwari temple, Manik Datta, noting that he has not received any instructions from the temple trust or the servitor -- the district magistrate -- over the ban, had said that over 100 animals were sacrificed in pilgrimage centre on the occasion of the new moon on Saturday.

Additional District Magistrate of Gomati district, P L Chakma had said the administration has not received any instructions from the Tripureswari temple trust or the state revenue department regarding banning of animal sacrifice.

The High Court bench had directed all the district magistrates and superintendents of police of the state to ensure implementation of the order forthwith.

It also directed the state chief secretary to install CCTV cameras at two major temples of the state Devi Tripureswari temple and Chaturdas Devata temple - where a large number of animals are sacrificed.

The bench had also asked the chief secretary to obtain soft copies of the CCTV recordings every month.

Meanwhile, Tripura's royal scion, Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarman had said he will file a writ petition in the Supreme Court challenging the verdict of the High Court.

Debbarman had said while he believes that opulence and mass slaughter of animals in the temples is not required, he felt the High Court went beyond its jurisdiction by interfering in the customs and culture of the people. - PTI

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