Karnataka

Devotees defy ban; hurl sheep during Karnataka temple festival

Several thousands of devotees participated in the annual Jatra of Mailaralingeshwar temple in Mailapur village in Yadgir district on Saturday.

Several thousands of devotees participated in the annual Jatra of Mailaralingeshwar temple in Mailapur village in Yadgir district on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Ravikumar Naraboli

Apart from monitoring of the checkposts, the police had even, for the first time, deployed a drone camera in the hilly area where over 1 lakh pilgrims were expected.

While jallikattu in neighbouring Tamil Nadu remains under heavy scrutiny, another prohibited tradition involving animals surfaced in Yadgir in Northern Karnataka on Saturday.

As tens of thousands of devotes gathered to watch the procession of the deity Mailaralingeshwar, at least four live sheep were thrown from the hills on to the moving palanquin as a part of the local tradition. Three persons have been arrested by the police.

The tradition — which involves a belief among the shepherd community that sacrificing one sheep from their flock by hurling it from great heights at the deity would protect their entire flock — continued despite the presence of more than 400 police personnel as well as officials of the district administration which had banned the tradition nearly four years ago.

Apart from monitoring of the checkposts, the police had even, for the first time, deployed a drone camera in the hilly area where over 1 lakh pilgrims were expected. Devotees from Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh throng to Mailapur temple for the annual procession.

While the Animal Husbandry department has seized 850 sheep and goats from custody at various checkposts, some had managed to smuggle the animals during the procession and continued the outlawed tradition.

Panduranga, Deputy Superintendent of Police, said three persons have been arrested for hurling sheep. Mahadev from Paspul village, Shankarappa and Mallikarjun from Ramsamudra village in Yadgir taluk have been arrested under Section 11 (D) Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, he added.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 7:30:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/Devotees-defy-ban-hurl-sheep-during-Karnataka-temple-festival/article17040205.ece

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