Bolangir: The district administration’s awareness campaigns to prevent animal sacrifice during the Sulia Jatra seem to have been in vain. The annual festival kicked off Tuesday with the gory ritual at Khairagura and Kumuria villages of Deogaon block in Bolangir district.
The three-day long festival started 8.00am Tuesday. After the completion of the usual rituals, the sacrifices of animals started. First a male goat locally called ‘Patbuka’, was slaughtered. Thereafter, hundreds of birds and animals were killed, leaving the shrine soaked in blood.
Surprisingly local MLA Narasingha Mishra, Utkal Kandha Samaj’s central committee chairman Chintamani Bhoi, Kalahandi Kandha Samaj chairman Prakash Majhi, and chairmen from 18 ‘praganas’ in Bolangir and Sonepur were present where the sacrifices took place and also participated in the festivities.
A platoon of police personnel has been deployed at the ground hosting the festival to avoid any untoward incident.
This festival is mostly celebrated by Kandhas of western Odisha. The festival begins on the second Tuesday of ‘Pausa’ month of the Hindu calendar. Folklore has it that if the deity is appeased with animal blood it will bring in rains which will result in good harvest.