Shimla: To curb the practice of animal sacrifice in temples, the Himachal Pradesh High Court today issued orders directing the district administrations to ensure that no person throughout the state of HP shall sacrifice any animal in any place of religious worship.
Hearing a petition, the division bench of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Sureshwar Thakur observed that a question of great public importance has been raised.
The bench observed, “A startling revelation has been made the manner in which thousands of animals are sacrificed every year in the name of religious worship. Sacrifice causes immense pain and suffering to the innocent animals. The innocent animals cannot be permitted to be sacrificed to appease the God/deity in a barbaric manner. Compassion is basic tenets in all the religions. The practice of animal sacrifice is a social evil and is required to be curbed.”
The judges also recorded, “We have also gone through the photographs placed on record the manner in which animal sacrifice is executed in the name of religion.”
Animal sacrifice is conducted in some temples of Nirmand and Anni of Kullu district, at God Dev, Kamru Nag and Kamaksha Devi temple in Mandi and in some temples of Rohru, Rampur, Kotkhai, Jhakri and Chirgaon of Shimla district and in Shillai area of Sirmaur district.
Having termed animal sacrifice as a social evil, the judges then hold the practice as a grey area observing, “It is a grey area whether the animals sacrifice can be termed as a religious practice or not. The faith, ritualistic worship and its continuation must change in modern era. People are required to be sensitized on this issue by the state government.”
After having recorded the courts observations on the contentious issue, the judges directed district magistrates, police superintendents and other administrative and police officer to ensure
- No person throughout the state of Himachal Pradesh shall sacrifice any animal in any place of public religious worship, including all lands and building near such places of religious worship, which are ordinarily connected for religious purposes or in any ceremony/Yagya/congregation or procession connected with any religious worhship in public street forthwith.
- No person shall perform or offer to perform or serve, assist or participate or offer to serve any sacrifice of animal in any place of religious worship ceremony/Yagya, including all lands and the building near such places of religious worship, which are ordinarily connected for religious purposes forthwith.
- No person shall allow any sacrifice to be performed at any place which is situated within any place of public religious worship/ceremony/Yagya, including all lands and building near such places of religious worship, which are ordinarily connected for religious purposes forthwith.