Puri: Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) on Monday invited stinging criticism from the servitor groups for lifting the suspension imposed on servitors Jay Krushna Dasmohapatra and his father Kashinath Dasmohapatra even before the submission of an inquiry report on ‘Brahma Parivartan’ (soul transfer) fiasco of the deities during the Nabakalebara last year.
The father-son duo was suspended on June 20 last year for their alleged role in the mismanagement of the key ritual of the Nabakalebar.
“Where is the inquiry report of the temple administration on the Brahma Parivartan mismanagement? How do we know the basis on which the temple body lifted the suspension?” asked Jagannath Swain Mohapatra, the Badagrahi (body protector) of Lord Jagannath.
“We demand that the temple body should complete the inquiry and make the report public. We will be happy to see it,” he stated.
Invoking section 21 (B) of the Shri Jagannath Temple Act, 1954, the shrine body had suspended the Dasmohapatras from Daita Seva for an indefinite period. Sources said the SJTA is yet to gather concrete information on the event, which had led to delay in the subsequent rituals of Nabakalebar last year.
The temple administration, however, maintained that it is well within its rights to lift the suspension.
“The revocation of suspension has nothing to do with the ensuing Rath Jatra. The suspended servitors have served the punishment for one year. They are also mentally upset and depressed due to this. They had requested us to lift the suspension. Since I have the suspension power, I can also withdraw it,” SJTA chief Suresh Mohapatra said.
Like the servitor bodies, the decision of the temple administration has not gone down well with the Opposition BJP and Congress. The two Opposition parties alleged that since Jaykrushna was the president of BJD’s youth wing in the holy city, the suspension was lifted before the report came.
“The State government is solely responsible for the whole thing. First, it suspended the servitors and now it has lifted it. But where is the report? How would the people know what led to the delay in Nabakalebar and who all were responsible for this?” asked BJP spokesman Golak Mohapatra.
The Congress party has echoed Mohapatra.
“The State government must clarify the reasons behind the servitors’ suspension and their revocation. You can’t fool the people every time,” rued Congress Spokesperson Sarat Rout.
However, the BJD said the lifting of the suspension is a temporary measure.
“The sevayats of the committee had requested the SJTA to allow the suspended servitors to continue their service. Based on this, the temple chief has taken the decision. Besides, the decision has been taken temporarily,” BJD spokesperson Sameer Dash stated.