Buffalo fight returns in Assam’s Morigaon and Nagaon this Bihu despite apex court ban | Guwahati News


GUWAHATI: Despite the Supreme Court ban on the traditional buffalo fight during Bhogali Bihu, many places in Assam‘s Morigaon and Nagaon district on Monday saw the popular ritual playing out after a gap of two years due to the pandemic.
The apex court in 2014 had passed an order prohibiting all forms of animal races and fights and directed the government to prevent infliction of unnecessary pain and suffering on animals.
Morigaon deputy commissioner Devasish Sharma told TOI that an order prohibiting the buffalo fight was issued on Sunday. “Strict vigil was maintained. The district administration stopped buffalo fights in a few places. Even if fights were organised after the ban and the vigil, they must have been done covertly,” he said.
Buffalo fights were ‘organized’ at Ahatguri, Badyabori and Mikirbheta in Morigaon district and Barhampur in Nagaon on Monday. Thousands of people gathered and enjoyed the traditional ritual. However, the fights were organized by the owners of the buffalos and not by any committee following the prohibitory order of the district administration.
An owner who had brought his buffalo for the fight at Badyabori said, “The buffalo fight is an integral part of Bhogali Bihu. It is also a way to control the anger of the buffalos. We know about the court ban. But the buffalo fight cannot be separated from the tradition.”
It is pertinent to mention that the fights were not organized anywhere in the state last year owing to Covid-19.
The state government had relaxed Covid restrictions and allowed the people of the state to celebrate Bhogali Bihu on a smaller scale.
In Dibrugarh, cock fights were organized as part of the Bhogali Bihu festivities while Manikut Utsav was organized at the Hayagrib Madhab Mandir in Hajo, which has been traditionally organized at the temple for decades now.


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