Nuapada, Feb. 10: At least sixty families of Chakotia Bhunjia tribe, who inhabit in villages near the Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary, have set their kitchens afire.
Going by their rituals, they believed that their kitchens were desecrated as police entered the kitchen during an anti-Maoist operation in Bhaosil village on January 29.
The inhabitants of the village had been cooking in open air ever since the police personnel touched their sacred kitchens.
Yesterday, the Bhunjias of Bhaosil village had destroyed some fifty kitchens by setting those afire. Today, they burnt down ten more kitchens.
Tiharu Bhunjia, a villager of Bhaosil, said that the tribals believed that their kitchen or ‘Lal Bangala’, the abode of ‘Duma Devata’, had lost its sanctity after the security personnel entered into it.
“We believe that the sacred kitchens of our community are solemnly dedicated to, or set apart for, a high purpose. It is the home of the ‘Duma Devata’, one of the deities we worship. The kitchen is the most sacred part of our house. And entry of outsiders into our kitchens are strictly prohibited”, he said.