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SJTA to act against servitors for allowing devotees to touch deities during Snana Yatra

Puri: The Shri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) has said it will take appropriate action against the servitors for allowing the devotees to touch the deities during the Sahana Mela darshan at the Snana Mandap last night.

“The temple administration had installed CCTVs in and around the Snana Mandap during Snana Yatra yesterday. We will check CCTV footage to find out the servitors who had unauthorisedly allowed the devotees to touch the deities and definitely take action against them,” SJTA chief administrator Suresh Chandra Mohapatra told media persons last night.

Reports said the incident had taken place at about 10.30 PM when thousands of devotees crossed the barricades and touched the deities at Snana Mandap. Some Bengali devotees in servitors’ outfit were also seen touching the deities. Though the Superintendent of Police, senior district officials and SJTA officials were present at the Snana Mandap, none of them had the guts to prevent the devotees.

“It is a time-honoured practice to allow devotees to touch the deities at the Snana Mandap. It is the good luck of the devotees who managed to touch the deities. If this issue is taken up for debate, the same situation would crop up which had occurred during Nabakalebara Rath Yatra last year,” Binayak Dasmahapatra, assistant secretary of Daitapati Nijog told media persons.

Replying to the statement of the SJTA chief administrator that the temple administration would take action against the servitors who had unauthorisedly allowed the devotees to touch the deities, he said “We will see what action he is going to take against the servitors. Rather we would urge him to suspend all servitors”.

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