CCTVs to monitor activities at ‘Bhitara Katha’ of Puri Srimandir

Puri: The Puri Srimandir administration has decided to install CCTVs at ‘Bhitara Katha’ -the last point of entry for devotees in the temple.

The significant move comes in wake of the alleged assault on a tourist by two servitors inside the temple premises last week.

Sharing more details, Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Niti (ritual) Administrator Pradeep Das said “The objective is to ascertain truth behind such incidents and monitor activities inside the temple,”

While the cameras at “Bhitara Katha “will be active during the general public darshan, they will remain off limits during rituals and other “neetis”

– SJTA Niti (ritual) Administrator Pradeep Das

Also Read: Puri Srimandir Ratna Bhandar inspection concludes

Earlier on Sunday, a devotee identified as Chetan Ganpat from Pune of Maharashtra was left injured after being allegedly attacked by two servitors for refusing ‘dakshina’ (donation) near the ‘Bhitara Katha’.

Following the incident, the temple’s Chief Administrator suspended the two accused, Khuntia servitor Madan Mohan Khuntia and Mekap servitor Somanath Mekap for an indefinite period as per the 22B rule of the temple act. A probe has been  ordered into the incident but the accused duo are stated to be absconding.

Devotees and tourists have welcomed the move saying that it will ensure streamline general public darshan.

The decision to install CCTVs near ‘Bhitara Katha’ is a very welcoming step and people should come forward to support the move. It will help in deterring unlawful activities inside the temple premises.

– Sudarsan Besh, a devotee.

Similarly, senior senior servitor Binayak Das Mohapatra said:

Though installing CCTVs inside the temple will put various secret rituals at risk but since it is necessary to deal with incidents like alleged assault on devotees, the temple administration and chiefs of all servitor associations should sit down to discuss and implement the decision.