Himansu Shekhar Rout

As the stand-off between the servitors of Lord Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar continues, two servitor groups – Pujapanda Nijog and Brahamn Nijog resigned from the membership of Lord Lingaraj Temple Trust Board on Friday.  

Notably, three groups of servitors - Badu Nijog, Pujapanda Nijog, and Brahman Nijog - are locked in a dispute over alleged encroachment of land belonging to Lord Lingaraj in the temple area that reportedly led to disruption in daily rituals in the 11th-century shrine. 

It was stated that since the dispute could not be sorted out, the two Nijogs have resigned as members of the temple trust board. However, the two groups while sending their resignation papers in writing to the Endowment Commissioner have assured that they would provide their services to the Lord as per their capacity. 

On Thursday, the Assistant Endowment Commissioner held discussions with the three Nijogs separately, but the discord could not be resolved. Later, the Endowment Commissioner asked the Lingaraj Temple Trust Board to initiate steps for the resumption of rituals. 

ALSO READ: Lord Lingaraj goes hungry as servitors’ dispute enters second day, devotees express resentment

It may be noted here that the servitors of Pujapanda Nijog and Brahman Nijog were using some land belonging to Lord Lingaraj. However, following a High Court order, those lands are being reclaimed into the Lord’s ownership.

However, the Badu Nijog has reportedly received a green signal from the High Court for building shops on the disputed land. Challenging the order, Brahman and Puja Panda Nijogs later filed a petition in the court and obtained a stay order on the construction of shops by the Badu Nijog.

The Brahman Nijog and Pujapanda Nijog allegedly halted the rituals as a mark of protest.

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