Achyuta Samanta’s Puri Gajapati do stokes controversy

Bhubaneswar/Puri: In what could spell major trouble for KIIT and KISS founder Achyuta Samanta, the Jagannath Sena and Srikhetra Swabhiman Manch came down heavily and staged agitation against him for conducting his own ‘Pusyaviseka’ (coronation), a ritual which is reserved for Puri King Gajapati Maharaja Dibya Singha Deb.

The two outfits staged protest in front of Srimandir Singhadwara today demanding an unconditional apology from Samanta for insulting the king and Jagannath culture after photos of his coronation went viral on social media.

Samanta conducted the ritual on the lines of Puri Gajapati King reportedly at the Jagannath temple of KIIT. The pictures showed him in royal attire being coronated to the chanting of vedic hymns by Brahmins.

The protesters burnt Samanta’s photo and raised slogans against him. They alleged that the KIIT founder misrepresented the ritual of Sri Naar (Puri King’s palace).

“Proclaiming himself as Puri king is unpardonable. Achyuta Samanta has no such legacy to perform the rituals of a royal family. It is a shame that he compared himself with the Gajapati of Puri and made the pictures viral on social media. He should prostrate before Singhadwara seeking forgiveness from Lord Jagannath in the next 48 hours failing which we would intensify our agitation,” said Priyadarshan Patnaik, convenor of Jagannath Sena.

“Such act of Samanta has hurt religious sentiments of thousands of Jagannath devotees. By conducting the ritual, he went against the Jagannath culture and insulted Gajapati Maharaj. He should apologise for his deed,” said Chinmaya Kumar Dash, member of Srikhetra Swabhiman Manch.