Cassian Baliarsingh

In a shocking incident, an aide (jatri gumasta) of a Puri Srimandir sevayat on Friday was arrested for allegedly sodomising a 13-year-old boy inside the temple premises.

The accused has been identified as Sudarshan Mishra, 42, from Harachandi Sahi in Puri.

According to sources, the victim has been learning Vedic chants and hymns at the Sanskrit toll, run by Puja Panda Nijog (a prominent association of servitors) inside the Jagannath Temple.

The accused allegedly took the boy to a secluded place inside the temple premises and sodomised him. He had been committing this heinous crime for last 1.5 months. The matter came to the fore after the victim himself walked to the Singhdwara police station and narrated his ordeal.

“Whenever Mishra found me alone in the temple, he forcibly took me to an isolated place inside the shrine and sexually abused me. He had been doing this to me since last one and half months,” the victim narrated.

The minor, who had been enduring the trauma and had never told anyone out of fear and shame, walked to the Singhadwara police station and lodged a complaint in this regard.

Reports said, Singhadwara police booked Mishra under sections 377 (unnatural offences), and 511 (attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life) of the IPC and section 10 of POCSO Act.

When contacted, Mihir Panda, additional SP, Puri, said, “Yes, we had received a complaint. The Singhadwara police had received a complaint by a minor boy that a jatri gumasta had been sexually harassing him. Based on the boy’s complaint, we lodged an FIR and arrested the accused identified as Sudarshan Mishra. He has been later forwarded to court.”

Further investigation into the case is underway, Panda added.


(Reporter: Madhusudan Mishra)