RDC probe into Iskcon temple row begins

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Puri: The Revenue Divisional Commissioner (Central) AB Ota on Thursday began probe into the controversy over the proposed construction of a temple by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) at Puri.

Soon after his arrival, the RDC verified the land documents of Iskcon in the office of the district collector, additional collector, and tehsildar of Brahmagiri. After verification, he went to the proposed temple site at Sipasarubali under Baliapanda Mouza for an on-the-spot inspection in the presence of the district collector, additional collector and officials of Puri-Konark Development Authority (PKDA).

Reports said the RDC will probe into four aspects on whether there is any irregularity in the plan which was approved by the PKDA, how satisfactory is the action of the district administration in taking possession of the government land which is occupied by the Iskcon, the projects of the Iskcon which were approved by the PKDA and the idol to be worshipped in the proposed temple.

Talking to the media persons later, Ota said “There is apprehension among the people that Iskcon will construct a replica of Shri Jagannath temple. I am cross-checking this with the Iskcon authorities. Besides, I will also have a talk with them on whether they are going to set up the idol of Lord Jagannath inside the proposed temple,” Ota told media persons later.

He also made it clear that if there is any illegal occupation of government land, the state government would definitely take steps to take possession of the land.

The Iskcon officials had also accompanied the RDC during his visit to the proposed temple site.

Talking to OTV, Iskcon official Sudam Govinda Das said if the Iskcon management will move the Supreme Court if it fails to get the justice from the Orissa High Court which has refused to issue an interim order to allow the construction of the proposed temple by setting aside the order of the PKDA which has issued stop work order following the directive of the chief minister for the RDC probe into the matter.

Notably, chief minister Naveen Patnaik on February 10 had asked the RDC (Central) to conduct administrative probe into the matter and submit a report within two months.

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