Mrunal Manmay Dash

The long standing dispute between Kaupindhari and Bakkaladhari sects of the Mahima religion at Joranda shrine in Dhenkanal has put a question mark on the observance of annual Magha Mela this year.

As per reports, a coordination meeting for this year’s Magha Mela was held at the Collectorate in Dehenkanal where representatives of both the sects were present along with the Collector and the SP.

Following the meeting, while the chief of Bakkaladhari samaj, Nityananda Baba said the mela will be held without any issues, the Kaupindhari samaj raised objections.

Speaking to reporters, Baba Nityanand said, “The meeting was joined by the SP, Collector, representatives of both the mutts and it was decided that the Magha Purnima Yatra will be held peacefully. The Kaupindharis are granted a place beside the main temple of Mahima Gosain to worship and perform their rituals. The Bakkaladhari samaj will construct a mandap for them to use.”

“Both the sects are getting along quite well. All the court disputes have been resolved and put to rest,” he said.

However, Baba Raghunath Das, the chief of Kaupindhari Mahima Samaj did not concur with the view after the meeting. In fact, he said they are not satisfied at the decisions taken in the meeting.

“The Sunya Mandir belongs to everybody. Why we are not allowed to perform puja inside it?” Das asked.

“We are not satisfied with the meeting. We do not have a place to worship. Neither do we have a place to receive the devotees and bless them,” he rued.

Bati Mandir and Dhuni Mandir- located on the premises of famous Mahima shrine at Joranda were pulled down by the district administration on November 22 after the High Court order.

Bakkaladhari Mahima Samaj and Kaupindhari Mahima Samaj had been locking horns over the possession of Bati Mandir and Dhuni Mandir. The matter had been subjudice in the High Court since 1945. Acting upon the court order in this regard, the local administration demolished the temples.

The dispute between the two sects has pushed the observance of Magha mela this year into uncertainty as the Kaupindharis are still considering their participation in the event.

(Reported By Rajashree Satapathy, OTV)