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Odishatv Bureau

Puri: In the wake of land grabbing allegations, even as the district administration has started vetting land records to ascertain the exact amount of land allotted to Swargadwar way back in 1899, Excise minister Damodar Rout on Friday spoke against relocation of the crematorium.

The senior BJD leader stated religious sentiments of lakhs of people must be respected.

“Religion is based on faith. People in and outside Odisha believe that if the body is cremated in Swargadwar, the soul rests in heavenly adobe. One who will hurt religion and tradition can't grow in life,” Rout said.

“The Swargadwar which is there since years should not be shifted at any cost,” he stressed.

Asked about the allegations of land encroachment allotted to Swargadwar, the Jagatsinghpur legislator noted criminal proceeding should be initiated against the encroachers.

“Nobody is above law. There is no place of any influential person when question of our religion and belief arises. Why only investigation, criminal proceedings should be initiated against those who have grabbed the Swargadwar land,” Rout mentioned.

The district administration should act promptly and demolish the encroachments at the earliest, he added.

“But the Swragadwar should be kept safe,” Rout emphasized.

Meanwhile, a nine-member investigating team comprising Additional District Magistrate (ADM) has started examining records allotted in favour of Swargadwar in 1899. Official sources said the team will check all the land records and deals till 1989. Besides, Puri Collector Arvind Agarwal too discussed the land related matter with the spokesperson of Govardhan Peeth.

On Thursday, Shankaracharya of Govardhan Peeth Jagadguru Swami Nischalananda Saraswati blamed the governments in power in the State at different points of time and his predecessors for the Swargadwara land grab.

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