High Court allows animal slaughter at Vishalgad on Bakri Eid

Mumbai – The deputy Director of Archaeology and Museums had issued an order banning animal slaughter at Vishalgad. The trustees of Hajrat Peer Malik Rehan Mir Saheb Dargah filed a petition against the order, seeking permission to continue its age-old tradition of animal sacrifice in the background of Bakri Eid at the dargah, located in the precincts of Vishalgad. The Mumbai High Court Bench of Justice B P Colabawalla and Justice F P Pooniwalla have now, granted permission for the traditional animal – slaughter at Vishal Gad between 17th June and 21st June 2024. Advocate Satish Talekar represented the petitioners in the Court.

The practice of offering cocks/hens, goats, etc followed during ancient times for donating food to the poor, was later, continued as a religious tradition. The petitioners claimed in the High Court that the ban was imposed on this tradition at the behest of the rightist outfits and for the benefit of the rulers.

Devout Hindu activists have raised their voices many times against the illegal slaughtering of animals at Vishalgad, which is a place of worship for Hindus. Due to the animal- slaughtering, the blood and bones of killed animals get scattered on Vishalgad thus affecting its sanctity. The pro-Hindu organisations, therefore, demanded the imposition of a ban on animal slaughter at Vishalgad.

The concern for the religious sentiments of Muslims should be shown even for the religious sentiments of the fort-lovers – Sunil Ghanwat, the spokesperson, action committee for Vishalgad’s Protection and against encroachment

Killing of animals adversely affects the sacredness of the fort. The decision to ban killings on forts was taken after pro-Hindu organisations’ agitations staged in this context. The decision taken by the High Court in the background of Bakri Eid is unfortunate. Muslims’ religious sentiments are respected, and they are granted permission during the Bakri Eid period to slaughter animals, then, why is there a ban on Hindus offering animals in many of their religious fairs ? The fort-lovers also have sentiments as Muslims do; so, what about their feelings ? Don’t their sentiments have any value ? The State Government should take note of this matter; followed by the right action.

Court’s decision is unfortunate – Harshal Surve, ‘Shivadurga Andolan Samiti’

A meeting was held of both parties at Vishalgad when it was observed that even cocks/hens were slaughtered under the guise of animal slaughter, without the necessary Government permission. Under the guise of religious reasons, later, mutton shops were opened which was opposed by all the patrons of the fort. A case is pending even against the encroachments on Vishalgad, the hearing of which is moving at a snail’s pace. The Court’s decision is, thus, unfortunate and the Government should take note of the disapproval of the fort-lovers.