Mrunal Manmay Dash

Cuttack/Puri: The row over Bagala Dharmashala land further intensified after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National Spokesperson, Sambit Patra filed a petition in the Orissa High Court on Tuesday demanding the Dharmashala land to be brought back to Lord Jagannath’s ownership.

Alleging gross irregularities in handling Bagala Dharmashala land, Patra, in a press conference in Cuttack, said, “There are discrepancies in that land’s Sabik Record of Rights (Sabik RoR) and Hal Record of Rights (Hal RoR).”

“As per the Sabik RoR, the area of the Dharmashala land has been recorded as 3 acre and 190 decimal, but surprisingly the area comes down to 2 acre and 574 decimal in the Hal RoR,” added Patra.

The development came following a reply furnished by the Puri Tehsildar and Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) in Orissa High Court stating that the land on which Bagala Dharmashal was built belongs to the Odisha government. However, the court directed the administration and the Advocate General to submit the details through an affidavit.

Not only the administration but the High Court also directed other parties including the petitioner Jagannath Bastia to furnish a reply in connection with the mater.

Earlier, the decision of Puri district administration to sell the land of the century-old Bagala Dharamashala to six private hoteliers triggered massive protests. The information obtained through an RTI application had revealed that the lodge owners and servitors who have been allotted plots in the dharmasala land had earlier received huge amount of compensation in lieu of their land acquired for the Srimandir heritage corridor project.

The next hearing in this case has been scheduled for Monday.

(Bikram Keshari Jena)

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