BENGALURU: Animal sacrifices every Sunday at a temple in the middle of upscale Defence Colony in Indiranagar, which had been going on for more than a year, had shocked many residents and animal rights activists, prompting them to approach the police to file an FIR. Though the police claim that the practice has stopped after the FIR was filed, the residents said they will wait for this Sunday to see whether it starts again.
The area MLA, S. Raghu, however, claimed it happened only once a year during a temple festival and it was a long standing practice followed by local residents. Regarding the issue, a security guard said, “I have been here for 8-9 years now and we have been observing trucks laden with goats coming on Sundays at the temple for sacrifice. This has been a disturbing sight for us.” Voicing a similar opinion Balaji, another resident said, “Trucks would come when children are playing in the locality. It is a disturbing sight for them. We tired reaching out to the local MLA as well, but he said he did not want to anger the gods.”
Animal rights activist Tanya Ravi had filed an FIR a month ago, under Section 11, 28 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Section 268, 428, 429 under IPC. She said, “I noticed goat sacrifice when I and my sister had taken our dog on a walk. We saw two goats tied at the entrance of the temple gate and later the sacrifice took place. These goats are brought on a truck owned by the temple caretaker. This was in 2014. I tried approaching the police then, but they did not register any complaint. Later with the help of one of my friends, I approached them again and they registered a FIR.”
She said police then served a notice to the temple authorities. “With the help of police, I put up a banner stating that animal sacrifice was not permitted here. However, I feel we need to install CCTV cameras to ensure sacrifices do not happen. I do not know if the sacrifice of hens and pigeons is still continuing, but I have not heard of any goat sacrifice after my complaint.”
When DC approached Raghu, he denied any kind of sacrifices being carried out at the temple. “Nobody has approached me regarding the issue. Besides, as per my knowledge, no sacrifice takes place at this temple on regular basis. It happens only once in a year. Sacrifices happen early morning between 5 and 6 am. This is a tradition that has been followed by the locals for many years.”
Indiranagar police station Sub-Inspector Santosh said, “It has been one month since we have stopped the sacrifices. Based on a complaint by an activist, we filed an FIR, but we have no idea as to whom to charge. There is no one in the temple, neither a priest nor a guard. Moreover, the temple is on a private property, and is not managed by any trust. It also does not come under muzrai department. The owner stays in Hosur. There is only a caretaker, who comes only at night. However, we visited the temple and helped the activist put up a banner. Since then no sacrifices have taken place.”
When DC contacted the caretaker, Jagadeva, he claimed that sacrifices have been taking place for the past two weeks.