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‘No animal sacrifice during Kullu Dussehra’

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Kullu (Himachal Pradesh): Animal sacrifice for religious ceremonies has stopped in Kullu district – famous for the centuries old Dussehra festivities – since the high court ban last year, an official said on Thursday.

“There has not been a single instance of animal sacrifice in Kullu district since the high court banned animal sacrifice in September 2014,” Deputy Commissioner Rakesh Kanwar said in a statement.

The famous, centuries old Kullu Dussehra festival earlier used to see animal sacrifice.

He said the administration has taken strong steps to ensure that no such instance happens and the people associated with the Dev Samaj, which comprises representatives of the deities, have also followed the court orders.

According to tradition, the sacrifice of a buffalo, a male lamb, a fish, a crab and a chicken is an important ritual on the concluding day of Kullu Dussehra, which begins in Kullu town after it ends in the rest of the country.

This year the festival will commence on October 23 and will see congregation of over 200 gods and goddesses of the Kullu Valley.

Kanwar told IANS that even during last year’s Kullu Dussehra that fell immediately after the ban was imposed, the local administration managed to convince the Dev Samaj to forgo the practice to appease the gods.

He said that for the first time in over 350 years it happened that no animal sacrifice was carried out last year. The symbolic sacrifice ritual was in fact performed by breaking a coconut.

Invoking parens patriae, a doctrine that grants the state authority to protect those who are legally unable to act on their own, a division bench consisting of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Sureshwar Thakur had observed: “The practice of animal and bird sacrifice is abhorrent and dastardly.”

The bench had banned the animals sacrifice in temples, saying they cannot be permitted to be killed in a barbaric manner to “appease” the gods.

The Kullu Valley is also popularly known as the ‘Dev bhoomi’ – the land of gods. Every village has several resident gods and goddesses – who are invoked as living deities.

(IANS)

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Heavy Snowfall Expected Across Himachal Pradesh

Shimla recorded the minimum temperature at 3.7 degrees Celsius, while it was 0.6 degree in Manali and 2.8 degrees in Dharamsala

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Moderate to heavy snowfall may occur across Himachal Pradesh in the next one-two days, the Met Office said on Wednesday.

Residents and tourists have been advised not to venture in the high hills as snapping of road links are high.

The supply of essential commodities and transportation of people may get hampered in remote areas of the state, a government official told IANS.

Hills of Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Sirmaur, Chamba, Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur districts are likely to experience moderate to heavy snowfall from January 4-6, an official of the meteorological office here told IANS.

He said the western disturbances — storm systems originating from Caspian Sea and moving across the Afghanistan-Pakistan region — are likely to remain active in the region till January 9.

Avoid travelling as snow may block Himachal roads.

Most of the prominent tourist towns like Shimla, Narkanda, Kufri, Dalhousie and Manali are likely to have light to moderate spells of snowfall, he added.

Kalpa in Kinnaur district saw mild snowfall. It recorded a low of minus 3.4 degree Celsius.

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Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti district was the coldest place in the state with a low of minus 4.6 degree.

Shimla recorded the minimum temperature at 3.7 degrees Celsius, while it was 0.6 degree in Manali and 2.8 degrees in Dharamsala. (IANS)