The petitioner said that Sampradayabaddha Kambala did not involve buffalo racing and that it was a way of ensuring their well-being.

Not animal cruelty Ktaka HC allows annual buffalo festival in UdupiImage for representation only/ Courtesy: Karnataka.com
news Festival Saturday, November 05, 2016 - 12:05

The Karnataka High Court on Friday passed an interim order allowing the organizing of Sampradayabaddha Kambala event in Udupi.

This comes days after the Deputy Commissioner denied permission for the event to be conducted, reportedly on the grounds that buffalo racing involved in Kambala festival amounts to cruelty towards animals. 

According to a report in The Hindu, Sampradayabadha Kambala is an annual event held across the coastal belt of Karnataka which involves a number of traditional rituals involving buffalos. 

Justice AS Bopanna was considering a petition filed by Udupi Zilla Sampradayabaddha Kambala Samiti, that challenged the Deputy Commissioner’s order on October 24, banning the event. 

According to reports, the organization held that not allowing Sampradayabaddha Kambala event to take place will hurt the religious sentiments of the people in around 40 villages across the district. 

They also maintained that the Sampradayabaddha Kambala did not involve buffalo racing and that it was in fact a way of "treating buffalos as Gods" and ensuring their well-being.

The court then granted permission for the event to be conducted in terms of the government order dated December 17, 2015 wherein certain conditions were imposed to prevent cruelty to animals.

The Hindu published excerpt from the petition: 

"The day prior to the celebration, landowners perform ‘Naga puja’ and feed ‘prasadam’ to buffaloes, and the next day they drive their cattle used for ploughing to the marshy field and make them walk on it. Later, the decorated buffaloes are made to walk on the marshy field with a prayer for a better yield of the crop as the second sowing season does not have the support of rain." 

The event is held during November and December before the commencement of the second sowing season.

 

 

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