Odishatv Bureau

Puri: Defying the restrictions imposed by the district administration and Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), a woman devotee on Friday evening was found climbing on to ‘Nandighosha’, the chariot of Lord Jagannath.

According to reports, the woman devotee climbed on the chariot prior to the pahandi of Lord Jagannath to ‘Aadapa Mandap’.

When contacted, Laxmidhara Pujapanda, public relation of officer of SJTA, said, “The woman seen climbing on to the chariot is a relative of a servitor.”

Though SJTA has allowed the devotees to touch the chariots, it has strictly barred them from climbing on the rathas.

Reacting on the development, SJTA chief administrator Suresh Mohapatra said, "We have not checked the CCTV footage yet. From preliminary investigation it is revealed that daughter of a servitor had climbed on the chariot. We take necessary steps after completion of investigation."

Meanwhile, Sarthak Sarangi, Superintendent of Police, Puri said, “We will investigate the CCTV footage and initiate necessary action against the person who has violated the law.”

Notably, during last year Ratha Yatra too, a woman named Padmini Patra had been seen climbing atop Lord Jagannath’s chariot ‘Nandighosha’ at the Gundicha temple with the help of servitors.

Following the incident, SJTA had filed a complaint against Lord Jagannath’s ‘Badagrahi’ Jagannath Swain Mohapatra and ‘Pratihari’ servitor Artatran Pratihari with the Kumbharpara police for helping the woman devotee climb atop Nandighosa.

Pratihari had been suepnded by the temple administration, but his suspension was revoked just on the eve of the Rath Yatra this year.