MP admits sacrificing sheep, fowl in reserve forest

MP admits sacrificing sheep, fowl in reserve forest

Mysore and Kodagu MP A H Vishwanath admitted to media persons, on Tuesday, that he sacrificed one sheep and a fowl at the shrine of Handikere Chowdamma, in Kachuvinahalli Reserve forest.

He has also allegedly violated law by entering the Reserve forest without permission. Range Forest Officer Devaraj said, the MP and his family had obtained oral permission to visit the shrine in the Reserve forest. “However, they were asked not to perform any pooja,” he said. While Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) Shivashankar Swamy said, “Following a request from the MP, the department had made arrangements to ferry 15 members of the family, besides giving them adequate security. Permission was given on humanitarian grounds. No complaints have been received in this regard.”

Vishwanath, along with MLA H P Manjunath, was in Neralekuppe, on the fringes of the forest, in the taluk, supervising the feast, where non-vegetarian food was served. The feat had been organised for his followers and Congress party workers. People were arriving in various vehicles, including trucks, up to 4 pm and 5,000 people attended it, according to one estimate.

Surprisingly, leaders from opposition parties also savoured the food and enjoyed Vishwanath’s hospitality. JD(S) candidate in the last Assembly election Kumaraswamy, who lost against Manjunath, and BJP candidate Annaiah Nayak were prominent among the guests. Vishwanath brushed aside questions, if it was a election campaign feast. He said, “There is no politics in hosting this lunch. My wife had made a vow to the deity to make some offerings during the last Assembly elections. We are fulfilling it. We have offered pooja to the deity and sacrificed one sheep and a fowl,” he said.

Replying to a question, he said, three days back he also fulfilled a vow to Periyapattanadamma at Periyapatna. “I have see, to which goddess I have to fulfil a vow in Madikeri,” he quipped.

Hunsur town’s famous caterer Raghu had prepared the food. He said, four quintals of rice, 500 kg mutton and 700 kg chicken was used.

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