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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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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”.

[bctt tweet=”Agra is one of the major hubs for owl trade” username=””]

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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.”

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  • Ruchika Kumari

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

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google's new tool can help you make our planet healthy. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?