Himansu Shekhar Rout

An untoward scene unfolded inside Puri Srimandir on Tuesday as a fight broke out between two servitors over the sale of ‘bana’ (temple flags).

As per reports, a Mekap servitor and a Chunara servitor got into a fight over the sale of flags near the Natamanadap. It was alleged that during the fight, the Chunara servitor also lost his gold chain. 

Somanath Mekap and Sarada Mohanty (Chunara Palia servitor) were involved in the fight.

Gopal Mekap, a Mekap servitor said, "One of our jajamans (devotees) telephoned my son to get a ‘patitapaban bana’. He was giving a flag to the jajaman. Then, he was told not to sell the flag. As per norms, Chunara servitors are mandated to sell flags only after making their invoices. Chunara servitors are selling more flags. If they have a problem, they should inform the administration. The fight broke out after they took away my son’s bag containing flags and even held his neck.” 

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Sarada Mohanty, a Chunara Palia servitor said, "Somanth and two others were selling flags. They were not ‘Bana Bandha sevaks.’ When I objected to the sale of flags, they argued with me, asking me who I was to object. Then, they insisted on selling the flags and challenged me. They had a bag full of flags. They have no right to sell flags. As a ‘Bana bandha sevak’ I can only sell flags.”

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