Vikash Sharma

Even as temples and places of worship continue to remain out of bounds of devotees across Odisha in view of the Covid-19 situation, allegations of blatant violation of the government imposed pandemic guidelines and restrictions at the Shree Gundicha temple in Puri has surfaced.

It has been alleged that two devotees and a policeman from another state were seen entering the sacred shrine on Tuesday in defiance of the restrictions.

As per reports, a woman, along with a male devotee and a uniformed police personnel were seen entering the Gundicha temple in the morning hours. The identity of both the devotees could not be ascertained. The incident occurred at around 10: 30 am today.

It is still unclear how they managed to sneak into the temple despite the restrictions. It is also still to be ascertained who actually facilitated the trio’s entry into the temple premises without authorisation.

The entire incident has been captured on camera. “I returned after I was denied entry into the temple,” claimed Kulamani Panda, the police personnel from an outside state who has been captured on camera while entering the temple.

Nevertheless, the incident has raised several eyebrows and many say it occurred due to lack of proper security measures and absence of security personnel at the Gundicha temple in the pilgrim town.

Meanwhile, the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration is going to have a crucial meeting on August 4 to deliberate on the possibilities of allowing devotees into the Jagannath temple in view of the declining Covid 19 cases in the State.

While the virtual meeting will be presided over by the chief administrator of the Srimandir, the Puri collector, SP and CDMO are also likely to attend the discussion.

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