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Ramakanta Biswas

Puri: An Inspector-In-Charge of Odisha has been placed under suspension for misconduct after he was found guilty of violating COVID-19 guidelines by entering Lord Jagannath temple in Puri.

State Director General of Police, Abhay has suspended the IIC of Jajpur Barchana police station, Deepak Kumar Jena for misconduct with immediate effect. Jena has been booked and the matter is being investigated.

According to sources, the IIC along with three other women stated to be his family members visited Puri Srimandir through the south gate of the shrine along with a Puja Panda and paid darshan to the deities yesterday evening despite strict ban on entry of public and congregation at religious shrines enforced in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak in the State and outside.

Also Read: Coronavirus Alert: Puri Srimandir To Be Out Of Bounds For Devotees Till March 31

The matter came to light after a havildar on-duty who tried to stop the IIC and his family members from entering the temple, lodged an FIR at Singhadwar police station.

Though exact charges slapped against the IIC is still unclear, Singha Dwara IIC Geli Kumari Sahoo told OTV that after the preliminary investigation, a complaint has been registered against the IIC for violating Covid-19 regulations. But the details pertaining to the case will only be known after thorough probe into the matter, she said.

Read More: Bhubaneswar And Cuttack Continue To Be Under Lockdown

Clarifying on the incident, Additional SP of Puri, Shantanu Kumar Dash said, “A servitor facilitated the entry of the accused and his kin into the temple premises. While servitors are not prohibited inside Puri Srimandir, to accompany somebody who is not allowed amounts to an offense. A complaint has been lodged in the Singhadwar Police station and we are probing the matter.”

Meanwhile, a senior police official made startling revelations about the case and said that the accused IIC used a stolen SUV while travelling to Puri Srimandir yesterday along with his family members. The official said that the SUV belonging to one Sukanta Dalai was stolen on March 20 and subsequently recovered. Another case will be slapped against the IIC for using the stolen vehicle, the official added.



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