Day after impasse, rituals as usual at Puri Srimandir

Puri: A day after the rituals and darshan of the deities at the Jagannath Temple were delayed by more than 12 hours following a standoff between the police and servitors, the conduct of proceedings at the 12th century shrine is underway in a smooth manner today.

According to reports, the Singhadwara of the temple was opened at 5.25 am and the Mangala Alati was held at 6.40 am. Thereafter other rituals are being conducted as per order. Mahaprasad will be made available for devotees inside the shrine.

Meanwhile, certain section of temple servitors has submitted a five-point charter of demands to the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration in connection with the faceoff with the police. However, the authorities of SJTA are yet to comment in this regard.

Reportedly, thousands of devotees were left stranded outside Srimandir since early morning on Friday after the servitors shut the temple gates and refused to carry out rituals protesting alleged assault on one of their colleagues by police personnel on Thursday evening.

The incident triggered massive resentment among the devotees who had come to Puri from different parts of the State and outside. The aggrieved devotees breached police barricades several times and tried to barge into the temple. The devotees also criticised the servitors for halting the rituals of Lord Jagannath.

After the district collector Jyoti Prakas Das and superintendent of police Sarthak Sarangi held series of meetings with the agitating servitors, the rituals were normalised by 5.15 pm in the evening.

Later, the devotees were allowed to have darshan of the dieties after the gates of the temple were thrown open. Due to the deadlock, the temple administration allowed the darshan till late night.