Communities take over lockdown implementation in East Siang

Hanged carcasses removed after magisterial order

RUKSIN, Mar 26: Communities in different villages of East Siang district have put their villages under lockdown from 25 March as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The villagers have erected temporary gates/barricades with cane and bamboo to prevent the entry of outsiders, and have decided to stay at home during the lockdown period.
On Wednesday, some villages sacrificed dogs and other animals and hanged their carcasses at the entry points as part of the traditional ritual to ward off the contagious pandemic.
But the hanging of the carcasses in open places drew the attention of the district administration, leading the deputy commissioner to issue a prohibitory order against killing of animals.
The DC in her order also directed the officers concerned to immediately remove the carcasses, citing health hazard to the public.
The order warned that violators would be booked under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960.
The villagers say that sacrificing animals and hanging their carcasses at the entry gates in order to ward off any epidemic has been their traditional practice since time immemorial.
“No matter whether the practice is scientific or superstitious, it is our traditional faith and our community’s people will follow it as ancestral culture,” they said.
Following the magisterial order, the villagers later removed the carcasses. They have, however, pledged to continue the lockdown till 14 April. They have also decided to avoid inter-village movement and to prohibit entry or exit of people, other than for fire or medical emergencies.
Following the nationwide lockdown order, the interstate check gates in Ruksin and Kemi have been sealed against pedestrians, as well, from Wednesday. But those carrying essential commodities and those in emergency services will be allowed in.
Apart from the national highways, all inter-district link roads in the district have been sealed.