Rath Yatra to be a ‘smooth affair’ as servitors’ row ends

SJTA chief administrator informed that differences with Puri temple servitors has been resolved and Rath Yatra rituals will be continued unhindered

Puri: Putting an end to all speculations, the servitors can now touch the sibling deities—Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and devi Subhadra during the upcoming Snana Purnina, a major ritual ahead of the famous Rath Yatra in Puri.

The long standing stalemate and differences with the Puri temple servitors has now been resolved, informed chief administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), Pradeep Jena.

Earlier, there were some issues relating to the authorised and unauthorised servitors and after discussion with the members of Daitapati Niyog (servitors’ association), the matter has been resolved.

The servitors have assured to cooperate in all the rituals of Rath Yatra, SJTA sources said.

There were discussions on several issues and our focus is to ensure that the rituals are streamlined so that devotees can have darshan of Lord Jagannath without any problem, said the chief administrator of SJTA.

Secretary of Daitapati Niyog Premananda Das Mohapatra said the chief administrator cleared the confusion related to authorised and unauthorised person.

“There is a difference between sevayats and unauthorized persons. The servitors can have darshan during Pahandi and also climb atop chariots. However, no decision has been taken whether their family members will be allowed atop the mandap,” Mohapatra added.

Mohapatra further informed that the servitors have agreed to cooperate the administration in conducting the Snana purnima, Rath Yatra and other associated rituals.

Earlier, the servitors had boycotted the 3rd Ratha Yatra Coordination Committee meeting held on Saturday and submitted a memorandum to the law minister Pratap Jena.

In the memorandum, they had cited record of rights of the Jagananth temple in which it has been clearly written that they enjoy the rights to serve the deities.

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