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Traditional buffalo fight (Moh-Juj)

Facts for Prelims (FFP)


Source: HT

 Context: The Assam Government reinstated the traditional buffalo fight (Moh-Juj) after a nine-year hiatus, following a Supreme Court ban on similar events in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

The event, held in Ahotguri, Nagaon district, aimed to revive Assam’s cultural traditions. The Supreme Court had previously outlawed such events but, in May of the previous year, upheld amendments allowing traditional bull-fights in certain states.


About Moh-Juj

It was introduced by the 30th Ahom king Swargadeo Rudra Singha nearly 200 years ago and is celebrated as a sport in Ahatguri during Magh Bihu, a significant harvest festival in Assam held in January–February. The buffalo fight tournaments in Ahatguri have been a tradition since 1972. The event is part of the cultural celebration of Magh Bihu.

About the wild buffalo (Bubalus arnee)

It primarily inhabits alluvial grasslands, marshes, swamps, and river valleys. It is listed as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List, under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and included in Appendix III of CITES.


About Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960

An Act to prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on animals and to amend the law relating to the prevention of cruelty to animals.

 Animal Welfare Board of India vs A Nagaraja, (2014) Case: The Supreme Court banned the use of bulls and bullocks in “entertainment activities” such as Jallikattu and bullock cart racing, among others. However, later jallikattu got an exemption from the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1960).