Pradeep Pattanayak

Taking note of children not being allowed entry into the Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar, the Odisha State Commission for Protection of Child Rights on Friday termed the restrictions 'unfortunate'. 

The Lingaraj temple authorities have put a bar on children entering into the shrine. It has recently been witnessed that devotees, visitors and tourists are entering the shrine complex after keeping children accompanying them at the gate. 

Chairperson of State Commission for Protection of Child Rights Sandhyabati Pradhan termed the denial of permission to children from entering into the temple along with their parents and making them stand at the entrance for hours together as 'a breach of children’s rights'. 

“If devotees and visitors along with their children are being allowed into the Srimandir in Puri, why is there a ban on them at Lingaraj temple” asked Pradhan. 

“I will direct the Lingaraj temple administration to think over it. This apart, I will take up the matter with the Tourism department because such a rule will ultimately have an adverse impact on the tourism sector in the State,” she added. 

Notably, the Lingaraj temple administration is learnt to have barred children from entering into the shrine as a part of covid-19 restrictions.