Villagers announce boycott of Nanda Devi worship

Pithoragarh, September 23
Angry at the heavy presence of police force on temple campus, villagers and four traditional heads living near Kotbhramari Temple at Garur in Bageshwar district have announced to boycott the traditional worship of Nanda Devi this year. "This is for the first in the last 250 years that the villagers would not worship their clan goddess Nanda Devi for which the obstinate and wilful tendency of the administration is responsible," said Shiv Singh Bisht, president of Kotbhramari mela committee at Garur in Bageshwar district.
According to Bisht, he had already conveyed the decision of the committee not to sacrifice animals in the open and do ritualistic sacrifices only, but the SDM concerned did not believe that promise. "The villagers were not given permission by the administration to bring ornaments of the deity from Bhagartola village and banana tree from Mavai village to make Nanda statue for the worship," said Bisht.
The administration has rejected the allegation and said that it had not prevented the villagers from bringing these ornaments but only deputed the police force on the temple campus to stop animal sacrifice, for which the High Court had given orders. " No devotee has been prevented from performing worship in the temple, and all the culture rituals are, as usual, performed," said V. Shanmugham, District Magistrate Bageshwar. 

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