Despite a Supreme Court ban on animal fights and race across the country, people of Morigaon district organized the traditional buffalo fight at Bidyabori and Ahatguri area of the district on Wednesday.
The Supreme Court had in 2014 banned organizing any kind of animal fight or races and instructed the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and state governments to stop inflicting pain and suffering on animals.
The buffalo fight has been a tradition of the Ahatguri and Boidyabori area of Morigaon district and the locals say that buffalo fights have been a tradition organized as part of the Bhogali Bihu celebration for a long time.
“A total of 40 pairs of buffalos were made to fight here today. We know that there is a ban, but what to do? It’s a tradition and buffalo fights are natural during this period. If we do not make them fight, they will attack its keeper or other people,” said one of the buffalo keepers.
The locals believe that the buffalos gain lots of energy during this period. They believe the buffalo fights are actually the traditional mechanisms adopted by the people to exhaust the buffalos so that the animal does not attack the keepers or people in general.
“The committee does not allow us to hold the fight. However, we organize the fight ourselves. The number of buffalos participating in the fight has decreased since 2016. However, some buffalo keepers bring their buffalos and organize the duals on their own,” said a local resident refusing to be named.
The buffalo fight, popularly known as Moh juj in Assam, is part of the tradition in different areas of Assam. The fights are organized on the first day of Assamese calendar month of Magh.