‘Action against guilty servitors for Brahma Paribartan fiasco’

Bhubaneswar, June 20 (IANS) Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) chief Suresh Mohapatra on Saturday said action would be taken against the temple servitors found guilty of creating disturbances resulting in a delay in the Brahma Paribartan ritual.

“Nine temple servitors including Daitapatis having been issued show cause notices will depose in writing on June 21 by personally appearing before the administration. Other Daitapatis are also free to file their written depositions relating to the Brahma Paribartan delay,” Mohapatra told reporters here.

He said the names of those Daitapatis volunteering to file their depositions will not be disclosed by the administration. “Different statements of Daitapatis are coming over delay in Brahma Paribartan rituals. The statements show that there were some disturbances inside the temple. We will verify all these and would take action accordingly,” said Mohapatra.

A meeting between SJTA chief and Law Minister Arun Sahu was held on Saturday to take stock of the situation in the wake of the Brahma Paribartan row.

Mohapatra denied any political interference in the temple administration. Admitting that one or two persons had taken mobile phones inside the temple, he said the administration would take action against the temple servitors. The servitors had allegedly taken mobile phones to shoot the secret rituals of Brahma Paribartan of Lord Jagannath and his siblings.

The idols of the four deities of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Goddess Subhadra and Lord Sudarshan in the 12th century temple at Puri were replaced on June 16 with new ones after 19 years. While the opposition is mounting pressure for the resignation of Law Minister Arun Sahu for mismanagement of the Brahma Paribartan ritual, Sahu was seen avoiding the media at the state secretariat.

The chief minister has also maintained a stoic silence over the issue. Meanwhile, Congress chief whip in Odisha assembly Taraprasad Bahinipati said: “The chief minister and law minister should resign for playing with the religious sentiments of Jagannath devotees worldwide.”

The law minister, by virtue of the portfolio, is accountable for the smooth conduct of all religious rituals in the Puri Jagannath Temple.

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