Demolition in Puri: Chiefs of Puri mutts write to CJI for stay order

Puri: Amid the ongoing demolition around Srimandir, chiefs of several mutts in Puri have requested the Chief Justice of India (CJI) to issue a stay order on the eviction drive undertaken by the Odisha government.

Terming the demolition as unjustified, the chiefs of several mutts, in an open letter to the CJI, alleged that the Odisha government seems to be ignoring their grievances and ‘the Supreme seat of Justice in this nation was misled on facts – leading to an order which has caused further damage.’

“The cabinet of Odisha Government has passed a resolution calling for demolition of all structures within 75 meters from the temple walls of Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri. Within this zone, there exist 18 mutts of various denominations who have definite rights to serve the Lord of Puri, Sri Jagannath Mahaprabhu – as per the record of rights related to the temple.”

“These mutts are also heritage structures which are centuries old. Great Acharyas like Ramanujacharya, Nimbark Achrya, Madhwa Achrya, Sri  Chndra(Udasin), Dasanami, Ramanda Achrya, Bishnu swami, Vallabhacharya, Chaitanya and Guru Nanak etc have visited & established these mathas and/or stayed there. They have both material and spiritual significance,” the letter read.

Highlighting that instead of protecting such heritage structures and promoting them as part of temple ecosystem, the State government is destroying the mutts, the letter alleged that the AG of Odisha has made a false claim that the mahants (chiefs) of the mutts have given their ‘assent for this dastardly act of destroying centuries old mutts.’

“Supreme Court had asked the amicus curiae to visit Puri and file a report. But the government is not even waiting for the amicus curiae’s visit and hell bent on destroying the heritage structures as quickly as possible without even a formal study or plan and certainly without the consent of the mahants as well as devotees of the mutts,” they alleged in the letter.