Puri: As we celebrate the 71st Independence Day with patriotic fervour, the Samadhi Peeth memorial of five illustrious Odia freedom fighters (Panchasakha) situated at Bakulabana in Puri district is wearing a dilapidated look – partly due to government negligence and partly because of nefariousness of miscreants who have destroyed the statues of freedom fighters.
Earlier on January 30 this year, some unidentified miscreants had decamped with the statue of Godabarisha Mishra and later in July some others had also beheaded the statue of Acharya Harihar at the memorial site situated in the campus of erstwhile Jatiya Vana Vidyalaya inside Bakulabana.
Police have arrested five persons in this regard on Monday and also detained six others in this connection.
Even though eight months have passed since the first incident, the administration is yet to replace the statue of Godabarisha Mishra while the whole memorial site has become a den of miscreants.
Asked about the saddening condition of the site, locals say administration is responsible as there have been no attempts to conserve it.
“For the development of the park, Rs 1.88 crore was sanctioned way back in 2005 but the quality of work was poor. The government had promised to renovate the historic spot into a tourist place. The spot should be declared a site of national importance and we should make every effort to conserve it,” said a local resident said.