Daita servitors adamant on continuing idol touch practice

Puri: The Daita servitors, who had vehemently opposed the Sri Jagannath temple administration’s recent decision to scrap the practice of touching deities on chariots by non-servitors during Rath Yatra, on Wednesday gave one day ultimatum to the Srimandir managing committee to take a decision in this regard.

In the managing committee meeting held here today, the servitors demanded that the administration must withdraw its decision and allow the devotees and non-servitors as well to touch the deities during the annual car festival.

They also threatened non-cooperation with the district administration if their demands were not met.

On Monday, the temple administration had decided not to go with the year-long practice of touching idols on chariots during Rath Yatra, which had created law and order situation during past years.

Irked over the decision, the servitors alleged that the car festival provides an opportunity to the devotees to embrace the deities from close proximity. The administration should not take such decision which strips the rights of the pilgrims.