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A ‘Navami’ without Bloodshed at Agartala’s ancient Durga Bari : No Buffalo sacrifice as Tripura High Court bans ‘Bali’ system in state temples
TIWN Oct 7, 2019
A ‘Navami’ without Bloodshed at Agartala’s ancient Durga Bari : No Buffalo sacrifice as Tripura High Court bans ‘Bali’ system in state temples
PHOTO : Maha-Navami puja in Agartala Durga Bari amid huge crowds of devotees. TIWN Oct 7, 2019

AGARTALA, Oct 7 (TIWN): For the first time in Tripura, Devi puja was observed without any blood-shed across Tripura temples. At Matabari since Maha-Astami the traditional ‘Bali’ system was withdrawn as Tripura High Court’s order was implemented. West District DM Sadeep Mahatme however imposed the order of High Court immediately after the judgement was passed and thus no buffalo sacrifice was observed in Tripura’s ancient Durga temple too. The age old tradition of Buffalo sacrifice at Durga Bari temple every year was marking the celebration of Maha Navami with blood spots but this year no inhuman activity was imposed across the temples. There would be no sacrifice of animals during Durga Puja in the famous Durga Bari temple here for the first time in 525 years as the Tripura HC has banned the tradition of animal sacrifice. The Tripura government has been sponsoring the Puja in the Durga Bari temple for the last 70 years.

"For the first time in 525 years, there would be absolutely no sacrifice of animals during the five-day 'Durga Puja'. We would abide by the order of the Tripura High Court," Dulal Bhattacharjee, the octogenarian chief priest of Durga Bari temple said.

The 92-year-old Bhattacharjee's son Jayanta Bhattacharjee said that as per the order of the 'Debarchan Vibhaga' (worship wing) of the West Tripura district administration, no animal sacrifice would be carried out in Durga Bari temple.

Tripura High Court’s Judgement passed on September 27, 2019 : A division bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Arindam Lodh in a landmark judgement on September 27 ordered that no person including the state government shall be allowed to sacrifice any animal or bird within the precincts of any of the temples in the state of Tripura.On September 27, in a historical verdict, Tripura High Court today has restricted superstitious, barbaric “Bali” system (animal sacrifice) across all Hindu Temples.The verdict was given after a Writ petition was filed in the High court. High Court division bench, Justice Arindam Lodh issued order.The petition was filed by former Justice Subash Bhattacharjee.According to the verdict, from now, each temple in Tripura will be restricted from this practice of animal sacrifice.Petitioner Subash Bhattacharjee while placing his points said that the merger deal with Govt of India and Tripura signed under the agreement of bearing the cost of the pujas by Govt but nowhere it is written that the “bali” process too has to be followed and organized by the Govt. Bhattacharjee also quoted if under Supreme Court’s order open-bali system can be stopped which says only in slaughter houses “animal-killing” will be allowed why not in case of temples ?

Significance of Maha-Navami : Maha Navami (Mahanavami) or Durga Navami is celebrated as the victory of good over evil. It is the last day of battle between goddess Durga and demon Mahishasura. Maha Navami begins with Mahasnan (holy bath), followed by prayers to goddess Durga or Maa Durga. It is believed that on Maha Navami goddess Durga is worshipped as Mahisasuramardini - which literally means the slayer of the buffalo demon. On Maha Navami, Durga Maa made her final assault on demon Mahishasura, and the following morning, on Vijayadashami, triumphed over him. In fact, Vijayadashami gets derives its name from the Sanskrit and Hindi words Vijaya meaning victorious or triumphant, and Dashami, meaning tenth day. Vijayadashami is also celebrated as Dussehra, which too derives its name from the Sanskrit words Dush meaning bad or evil, and Hara which means defeating or destroying - thereby signifying the victory of good over evil.

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