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Owl Trade: For luck on Diwali, Owls are Home-delivered for Sacrifice

Owls are sold at a premium, brought in only after a specific demand is made, generally for black magic, or during the Diwali season for sacrifice

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Owl. Pixabay
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Agra, October 29, 2016: As Diwali approaches; people all over India gather to celebrate the occasion following the rituals with reverence. Among such rituals, there is also a myth of sacrificing owl during Lakshmi Puja which will supposedly force the goddess to stay with the family. In UP, bird markets see a brutal trade in owls during this festive season.
According to TOI, wildlife activists say, “A lot of the trade in the country is routed through Agra.”

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In the city, the owls can even be delivered at home. Sometimes, the trader sacrifices it for believers if they are not comfortable to do it on their own. Diwali’s new moon night is considered the most auspicious time for owl sacrifices.

According to wildlife activists, “Agra is one of the major hubs for this trade. Places like Korai-Karavili village, near Fatehpuri Sikri, and Kosi Kalan in Mathura are infamous for it.”
The principal investigator for the report, Ornithologist Abrar Ahmed, told TOI, “Korai-Karavili village in Agra was the worst place in India in terms of owl trade”.

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He further added, “There are many tribal settlements in the area including those of Kalandhars (bear handlers), who have been rehabilitated. However, people there are involved in trade in owls, considering it a more benign crime compared to trade in other animals. After our report was published, steps were taken to curb the trade, but things are back to square one.”

“Owls are sold at a premium, brought in only after a specific demand is made, generally for black magic, or during the Diwali season for sacrifice. They are often delivered right to the buyer’s doorstep. Therefore such trade remains undocumented since most of the birds are then sacrificed,” Ahmed said.

Apart from the sacrifices, due to religious superstitions and myths these birds are sought for their different body parts such as feathers, meat, blood, talons, bones, and, skulls which are used in black magic and traditional medicines.

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According to TOI, “The Indian (rock) eagle owl, brown fish owl, dusky eagle owl, Indian scops owl and mottled wood owl are five of the most traded owl species in the illegal wildlife market. Horned owls such as the Indian eagle owl are particularly sought after by tantriks, as their false feather ear tufts (feather extensions on the head) are considered to have mystical properties.”

by NewsGram team

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  • Ruchika Kumari

    Such a brutality in the name of rituals…..Stop killing innocents

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393