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Sendra festival on May 16; dist admin, tribals’ face-off imminent

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Jamshedpur, May 10: The East Singhbhum district administration and the forest department have worked out a joint strategy to prevent the tribal populace in the region from hunting animals in the Dalma forest during the Sendra festival on May 16.

Sendra Buru festival is an annual ritual of the tribals celebrated across the state and in some part of Odisha and Bengal during which the tribals in large numbers visit the dense forest cover to kill wild animals as mark of ritual during the festival.

The Dalma Buru Sendra Samity (DBSS) is adamant on practicing the ritual of hunting animals to mark the traditional Sendra festival. Nevertheless, the forest department has maintained that awareness campaign in the villages surrounding the Dalma forest has worked positively and there is little threat to the animals on the Sendra day.

“We have been in constant discussion with the representatives concerned to ensure peaceful conduct of the annual ritual and we are confident about them. However adequate security measures will be in place,” said forest officer, wildlife division.

A dozen check points at strategic locations connecting to the forest area in the two districts specifically in the places like Patamda, Pardih, Raghunathpur, Chandil, Bahragora among others, have been erected.

DBSS is a seven-year-old outfit with little influence on the tribals along the forest cover of Dalma. This outfit hogged the limelight when it publicly defied establishment’s order and led scores of tribals to
the forest cover and killed deer, rabbit, squirrel, hoar and birds of different species as mark of celebration six years ago.

The Dalma Wildlife sanctuary and Dalma forest divisional office in coordination with the district administration of the Seraikela and East Singhbhum is making preventing arrangements to thwart tribal hunters bid, if any, to harm the ecological balance of the region.

Of the 82 villages that fall within the Dalma forest jurisdiction a majority have acceded to the forest department official’s word besides, the eco club members who largely played the role on behalf of the forest department in convincing the villagers about the implications of killing animals too are confident of ‘no loss of life’ in the jungles of Dalma on the Sendra day.

However, the president of DBSS, Demka Soy, the 36- year- old tribal and member of Jharkhand Janadhikar Party, is not ready to budge even an inch from his earlier stand.

“We cannot give any assurance as of now. Tribals from the four states are going to participate in the festival and it will be a big affair. Hunting will take place but which animal the guest tribals shall prefer how could I say it now,” asserted Demka Soy.

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