Malkangiri (Orissa), Feb 7 (PTI) Ahead of the tribalfestival ''Badayatra'', Malkangiri district administrationin Orissa today initiated steps to enforce a ban on animalsacrifice during the month long festivities.
Directives were issued to all police stations in thetribal-dominated district for creating awareness againstanimal sacrifice during the biennial festival beginning onFebruary 22, official sources said here.
"Those found indulging in animal sacrifice will bearrested and face criminal proceedings", the sources saidadding the decision to prevent the evil ritual was taken at ameeting chaired by district collector R Venil Krishna andsuperintendent of police Aniruddha Singh.
A large number of tribals from Orissa and neighbouringAndhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh throng the yatra throughoutthe month and offer sacrifices including goat, duck and hen toseek the blessings of the deity.
The festival is held at a stretch of 100 km betweenManyamkunda and Malkangiri with offerings at different placesalong the route every day during this period.
Meanwhile, the measures to ban animal sacrifice hascreated resentment among local priests who anticipated thattheir earnings could plummet if the order is implemented.
The district administration is leaving no stoneunturned to strictly implement the orders as per the directionof the Orissa High Court against animal sacrifice.
The awareness measures included distribution ofleaflets, holding of meetings at the village level andinviting the village heads for discussion against animalsacrifice.