Servitor opposing Mamata Banerjee’s visit to Puri temple detained

Puri: The Puri police, today, detained Shri Jagannath Sevayat Sammilani (SJSS) secretary Somanath Khuntia for vehemently opposing West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s visit to Shree Jagannath Temple.

SJSS has warned that Banerjee’s visit to the Puri temple would hurt the sentiments of lakhs of devotees of Lord Jagannath because she has made statements favouring consumption of beef.

Clean and pious hearted people are only allowed to enter the shrine, said Khuntia.

“Non-Hindus and people consuming beef are not allowed into the temple. We will decide whether to allow the CM or not for darshan of the trinity only after she publicly makes her stand clear on the issue,” Khuntia added.

On the other hand, BJP state president Basant Panda has said Puri temple is open for all Hindus. “Mamata Banerjee can also seek the blessings of Lord Jagannath,” Panda added.

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The Trinamool Congress chief had earlier said many minorities, Christians, tribals consume beef; it’s an individual choice and no one should stop them.

It is noteworthy that Banerjee’s three-day Odisha visit, beginning today, is going to be crucial amid emerging speculation of an anti-BJP alliance at the national level to counter the saffron surge.