Judicial panel for Puri Temple reforms submits interim report

Bhubaneswar: In what could act as a bold step in protecting the rights of devotees especially women, the Justice Bimal Prasad Das Commission has recommended for stern action against sevayats and others for such irregularities, official sources said.

The Commission in its first interim report submitted to the State Law Minister Arun Sahoo on Thursday, has suggested for measures to punish sevayats who behave in unruly manner with devotees.

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Secretary of the Commission B P Parija submitted the report of over 1,000 pages to state government. The Commission has suggested certain measures for both the district administration and the police for proper temple management as well as smooth functioning of rituals.

“Recommendations starting from  deployment of quick reaction teams and other security measures to thwart any terrorist attack, widening of roads, law and order, fire safety precautions and other measures essential for ensuring hassle-free darshan inside and outside the temple have been made,” official source said.

Earlier, the panel was appointed on July 23, 2016 following an attack on the Puri collector and delay in conducting the rituals of Lord Jagannath on the day of Niladri Bije on July 17, 2016.

The commission had received 12,791 suggestions, including 11,094 affidavits, 1,551 statements and the rest emails.