The Bhadrak district administration has blacklisted the agency that was engaged to erect the structure for Bhadrayani Lok Mahotsav at Nehru Stadium for abandoning an idol of Lord Jagannath that was used in the festival.
The festival jointly organised by ORMAS and the Agriculture Department from January 25 to 29 was kick-started with the lighting of lamps and worship of Lord Jagannath. But after the conclusion of the festival, the idol was found abandoned on the ground.
The district administration has ever since been drawing flak as many alleged it to be an act of disrespect toward Lord Jagannath.
Taking the matter seriously, the district administration on Friday blacklisted the concerned tent house supplier for utter negligence towards Lord Jagannath. The said supplier has been served a notice to refrain from doing any programme in the district.
“For the mistake, he (the tent house owner) has done, his tent house has been blacklisted. No programme would be given to him. This apart, the ADM has been asked to conduct a probe into the incident. Once his report is received, stringent action will be taken against those found responsible,” said Siddeshwar Baliram Bondar, Bhadak District Collector.
The Jagannath lovers have taken strong exception to the act of showing disrespect to Lord Jagannath. They staged a unique protest in front of the district Collector’s office by performing ‘sankirtan’. They demanded that the district administration should tender an apology.
“Today I am speaking not as a politician, but as a common resident. I would like to say to the district administration and the BJD-led government to contact me on my mobile number whenever they install an idol of Lord Jagannath in any future festival. I would take care of the idol,” said Dhamnagar MLA, Suryabanshi Suraj.
On the other hand, the convenor of Jagannath Sena in Puri, Priyadarshan Pattanayak has lodged a written complaint at Singhadwar Police Station against the Bhadrak district Collector and Bhadrak MLA.
“Bhadrayani Lok Mahotsav is an annual festival. It is organised under the guidance of the Bhadrak district Collector. Despite being a learned person, he has made such a blunder. During the festival, the idol was worshipped but after the festival, the idol was dumped in a garbage heap till February 1. So we have filed a complaint against him. The government will be responsible for whatever unfolds in the coming days. We also demand that local MLA, Sanjib Kumar Mallick tender an apology,” said Pattanayak.
Meanwhile, the tent house owner acknowledged his mistake and tendered an apology.
“After the conclusion of the festival, I asked my employees to bring the idol of Lord Jagannath with them. I admit that it is a huge mistake. Please forgive me this time. Such a mistake would not be repeated,’ said Birupaksha Mishra, the tent house owner.