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Dilip Kumar

Bhubaneswar: Bringing an end to uncertainty over the observance of the famous Jagar Yatra of Lord Lingaraj, rituals normalised at the famous 11th-century shrine after some hours of delay owing to dispute among some servitor groups over various issues.

Soon after the Abakash, Mailam, Rosa and Homa rituals in the morning hours, servitors refused to perform other activities leading to a complete halt of the other daily rituals even as the Sahan Mela darshan of devotees continued smoothly.

However, the standoff was resolved after a meeting between the representatives of sevayat groups, Khordha Collector, who is the executive officer of the temple trust board and the Endowment Commissioner.

According to reports, Badu Nijog, an association of servitors at the Lingaraj temple, has a long-pending demand over clearance of 'Srabani Pauna' (Srabani due). They have been demanding the same since a long time.

On the other hand, the Brahman Samaj, a group of priests who perform important services,  has alleged that the religious tradition involving the relationship of Lord Lingaraj and Kapileswar had been breached due to the internal bickering between the servitors of Lingaraj temple and Kapilanath temple.

The age-old ritual of Lord Lingaraj- Handi Bhanga Yatra- was halted for last couple of years due to the dispute between the priests at both the temples. The Samaj demanded Temple Trust Board and administration's intervention to sort out all the issues for the smooth conduct of temple rituals.

Several rituals of Lord Lingaraj and Kapileswar are conducted together as both the temples are linked in many ways.

Brahmana Samaj secretary Biranchi Narayan Pati said that the administration had not taken the matter seriously and sitting over  the simmering disputes.

"The government spends crore of rupees for the heritage corridor and salary of officials in the Endowment Commission. But, those who are performing services inside the temple are being neglected. The Endowment Commission has not yet implemented the High Court order for the smooth conduct of Handi Bhanga Yatra, Chandan Yatra and Sital Sasthi," Pati alleged.

"The district administration is yet to commence discussions with the servitors. Our non-cooperation will continue during the Mahashivratri festival tomorrow," he added.

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