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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Puri: The much awaited Rajarajeswara Besha rituals of Lord Jagannath at the Srimandir in Puri began on Thursday after a delay of around five hours due to a reported dispute among servitors.

As per reports, the devotees were devoid of availing the Mahaprasad on the auspicious day of 'Pausha Purnima' because some servitors could not come to mutual terms regarding the Rajarajeshwar ritual of Lord Jagannath scheduled for Thursday.

A devotee, who had come to Puri to get a glimpse of the Lord in golden attire, said, "It is almost evening and I could neither avail darshan nor could get the Mahaprasad till now."

However, after a marathon discussion between all stake holders, the ritual could finally begin after a delay of almost five hours.

Admitting the delay in rituals, Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) chief, Krishan Kumar said, "There was a dispute between two servitor groups over the number of men allowed on the 'Singhasan' of the Lord. It was resolved after discussion."

"I have directed the Administrator (Rituals) to investigate the matter and submit a report," he said.

Speaking about the action against the guilty, Krishan Kumar said, "Our priority lies at completing the ritual in time. If there is a delay, we can investigate the matter and initiate action against those found guilty, but only after completion of the ritual."

Dodging a direct question on the reports of Srimandir Administrator (Rituals) not being present at the spot while the dispute occurred between servitors, Krishan Kumar said, "I will not say anything in this light."

(Edited By Pradeep Singh)

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