PATHLAIYA: Unperturbed by animal rights campaigners and Buddhist monk Ram Bahadur Bamjan's call for a halt to mass animal sacrifice, the fare management committee has appointed at least 250 strong butchers to perform the world's supposedly biggest mass animal sacrifice due to take place on November 24 and 25 in Ghadimai fare.
As festival begins next week, Chief District Officer Tara Nath Gautam said he expected more than a million people to flock to the village of Bariyapur to attend the festival.
The government has mobilised 10,000 APF personnel and banned the use of alcohol ahead of the sacrifice to avert possible skirmishes, he said.
"We'll have APF men stationed around the temple for the security of the people as well as hundreds of policemen and women inside the temple," Gautam told AFP.
Around 1,200 policemen will keep vigil round the clock and more are on call, he added.
Meanwhile, preparations are on for the mass slaughter of animals.
The 250-skilled men - all from Bara district - will axe hundreds of thousands of buffalos, goats, chickens and other animals in the fare, said Motilal Kuswaha, secretary, fare management committee. He said that they had appointed authorised slaughters for sacrificing animals keeping with the past tradition.
“No others are permitted to slaughter,'' Kuswaha said. The slaughters had filled up forms, submitted a copy of their citizenship cards and had deposited Rs 200 each as deposit, Kushwaha said. “The 250 strong butchers will use Khukuri, Khuda and sword for slaughtering the animals,” he added.
According to the management committee, the pilgrim should pay between Rs 20 to Rs 100 for slaughtering goats and buffalos on their own. A three-kilometre-area of land has been allotted for slaughtering at around Ghadimai Temple.
A stadium-like-structure has also been erected in two bighas of land, where more than 10,000 buffaloes will be slaughtered at a time. Fee for entry to stadium is Rs 20 per person.
Meanwhile, it is expected that many people from neighbouring India will pay a visit.
Animal rights campaigners have warned the authorities to stop the movement of animals across the border. But the government has refused to budge an inch arguing that the festival is in keeping with the age-old tradition.