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Devbrat Patnaik

Puri: A complaint has been lodged with Puri Singhadwara Police against e-commerce giant Amazon India for allegedly defaming the cultural values of the Odia community. Servitors of Puri Srimandir on Monday slammed the retail firm after coming across online sale of Nirmalya, dry Mahaprasad of Jagannath Temple.

Multiple sellers selling Puri Shree Jagannath Temple Nirmalya Prasad popped up in its platforms and this has been continuing for many days now without any approval of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), which indicates that there has been a violation of guidelines. The temple administration was apprised of this as soon as the matter came to the fore.

"Amazon India is selling products in the name of Puri Jagannath Temple Nirmalya at prices much higher than the Badadanda (Puri Grand Road) rates. The prices of online Nirmalya being sold in Amazon range from 129-499, while the same is available in Badadanda at just Rs 10. I have lodged a formal complaint at Singhadwar Police Station for necessary action in this regard. This apart, I have informed the chief administrator the temple to look into the matter," said the complainant Sambhunath Khuntia, who happens to be a servitor of Srimandir.

Amazon is exploiting the rich Odia culture and such products should be removed immediately from the platform, he expressed.

This is not the first time that Amazon has courted controversy. Last year, the Noida Police had registered a case against the e-commerce giant for allegedly hurting Hindu sentiments after rugs and toilet seat covers with pictures of Hindu Gods were available for sale on its US website. Prominent community body in the US, the Sikh Coalition, had then alerted the matter to Amazon.

Prior to that, Amazon was slammed by several Sikh bodies for selling doormats, rugs and toilet accessories bearing the image of the highly-revered Golden Temple. An online campaign to 'boycott Amazon' was also initiated against the company for letting sellers put such products for sale on the platform.

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