Saswat Singhdeo

Bhubaneswar: After rituals at Lingaraj Temple were disrupted for over one and a half days owing to a dispute between two sects of servitors over ownership and construction on a piece of land, rituals resumed after a decision was taken to set up an interim trust to look into the squabble.

The situation returned to normalcy after Endowment Commission set up an interim Trust Board for smooth management of temple's property and resolution of issues. The Board will have three members including Bhubaneswar ADM, ACP Zone -1 and senior advocate Manas Mahapatra.

The interim Trust Board will be functioning till the setting up of a Scheme Trust Board or for one year, whichever is earlier, a notification regarding the same read.

"The Endowment Commissioner has set up an interim trust board to resolve the issues. Assistant Commissioner has been asked to launch an inquiry," said Pradeep Sahoo, Executive Officer of Lingaraj Temple Administration.

According to sources, a notice has been issued to the Secretary of Badu Nijog directing to stop the construction work on the disputed land. While the case has been handed over to Dhauli Police, Assistant Commissioner will record the statement of three Secretaries of Badu Nijog in connection with disruption of rituals at the temple and investigate the case.

According to sources, the Badu Nijog carried out construction on a piece of land near Gangua River Bed which was opposed by both Brahmin and Puja Panda servitor groups.

As a mark of protest, the Brahmin and Puja Panda servitors did not perform the rituals yesterday. They alleged that since the piece of designated land belongs to Lord Lingaraj, the Badu Nijog has no authority to carry out construction on the property.

However, the Badu servitors claimed that the land has been owned by them for last five centuries.