Controversy over animal sacrifice remarks by DK Shivakumar making devotees anxious: Kerala temple

The tantri said that due to the "unnecessary controversy", a lot of devotees were asking if anything happened in the temple.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 02, 2024 | 7:22 PMUpdatedJun 02, 2024 | 7:22 PM

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The tantri (head priest) of a temple in Kerala whose name was recently mentioned by Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar in connection with an animal sacrifice allegedly carried out in Kannur, on Sunday, 2 June, said that the controversy triggered by his remarks was creating anxiety among the devotees.

EP Kuberan Namboodiripad, the tantri of the Rajarajeshwara temple at Taliparamba in Kannur, said that due to the “unnecessary controversy”, a lot of devotees were asking if anything, as stated by Shivakumar, has happened in the temple.

“It is creating anxiety among the devotees. If this discussion continues, it could lead to a situation where the name and reputation of the temple might be tarnished,” he said.

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‘Held at a private place’

Shivakumar, on Saturday, had clarified that a ritual named “Shatru Bhairavi Yaga“, which involves the sacrifice of animals, was not performed at the Rajarajeshwara temple in Kerala, but in a private place nearby.

“I’m telling you, I have a lot of respect for the temple… I have not said (ritual was) in the temple. In the temple nothing has happened, I know. It is somewhere near (the temple) in a private place, where things have happened. This is the information I have got,” he had told reporters.

When asked about the exact place where it allegedly happened, Shivakumar said, “I don’t want to disclose. A priest who was part of that (ritual), has given me some information.”

“I have visited Rajarajeshwara temple….I know earlier there were some practices in the temple, but now they are not practised in the temple. But some of them are trying to do it (outside). Let them (government) inquire. I know a lot of things, but I don’t want to disclose things.” he had said.

His clarification came after the Kerala government said that no animal sacrifice was carried out near a temple in the northern part of the state, as claimed by Shivakumar.

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Kerala initiates investigation

The Kerala government had also said that it was investigating whether anything as alleged by the Karnataka deputy chief minister happened anywhere else in the state, even though according to initial reports such an incident had not taken place in the southern state.

On Friday, Kerala Minister for Higher Education and Social Justice R Bindu rejected the claim and said such things would not happen in Kerala.

On the same day, the managing committee of the temple refuted Shivakumar’s allegations and termed his claims as 100 percent false.

The Special Branch also gave a report to the State Police chief on the same day stating there is no evidence of any animal sacrifice taking place near a temple in Kerala as claimed by Shivakumar.

Shivakumar on Thursday had claimed that a ritual named “Shatru Bhairavi Yaga“, which involves the sacrifice of animals, was performed near a temple in Kerala, targeting him, Siddaramaiah and the Congress government in Karnataka.

Without revealing any names, he had alleged that some political people in Karnataka were getting the ritual done, and that ‘aghoris’ (monastic order of ascetic Shaivite sadhus) were being consulted for it.

“Shatru Bhairavi Yaga is being performed near Rajarajeshwari temple in Kerala for Shatru Samhara (destruction of enemies). For this yaga ‘Pancha Bali’ (five kinds of sacrifice) is being given…21 goats, three buffaloes, 21 black sheep, five pigs… Aghoris are being approached. It is going on,” he had claimed.

(With PTI inputs)