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Traditional buffalo and bird fights put off in Assam

People watch a buffalo fight

Morigaon : The traditional buffalo fight in Morigaon and the bulbuli fight in Hajo held on the occasion of Magh Bihu in Assam were today put off in deference to court orders.

In view of a Supreme Court ban, the traditional buffalo fight on the occasion of Magh Bihu organised by the Ahotguri Buffalo Fight Organising Committee, was not held in Morigaon district.

Some local buffalo keepers however, organised a token match of the traditional buffalo fight ensuring that no animal was hurt, a district official said

No action was taken against the keepers as it was only a token fight and no official complaint was received against them, the official said.

The Gauhati High Court had recently banned another traditional event held during the Magh Bihu festival responding to pleas that they were cruel to bulbuli birds.

On January 12, the High Court after hearing an application filed by the Animal Welfare Board of India, passed an order banning the traditional bulbuli bird fight at the Hayagrib Madhab Mandir in Hajo in Assam after considering various provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960.

The order of the High Court had triggered reactions in Hajo and across the state with the Hayagrib Madhab Mandir temple authority claiming the bird fight was part of a centuries old religious ritual where obeisance to Lord Vishnu begins with bulbuli fight.

Though no bulbuli fight took place, those training the birds for the traditional ritual claimed there was no cruelty involved and no bird was hurt during the training process.

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