Mismanagement at Puri Srimandir: SC hearing today

Bhubaneswar: Nearly a month after the Supreme Court passed a slew of interim directions to put a tab on the alleged mismanagement at Puri Srimandir and exploitation of devotees, the apex court will hear on its June 8 order.

The apex court in its order, had directed the District Judge, Puri to form a committee to probe allegations of exploitation of devotees and tourists at the temple and submit a report on the same. It has also asked the state government to constitute a committee, study the management schemes in other important shrines and submit an interim report by June 30.

Official sources said the finding reports have been submitted for the perusal of the court and Gopal Subramanium who has been appointed as the amicus curiae for the case is likely to submit his suggestions on these reports before the court today.

A vacation bench of justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Ashok Bhushan hearing on a PIL filed by one Mrinalini Padhi of Cuttack on June 8 passed several directions including review of the arrangement of the CCTV cameras every month by a committee set up by the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), no direct collection of offerings by servitors.

In a related incident, servitors of different outfits took to silent protest and ‘deep daan’ in front of the Garuda Sthamba of Puri Srimandir  protesting over multiple issues including Niladri Bije fiasco ,Ratna Bhandar key missing row and  alleged misbehaviour to First Lady of India.

“Some administrative officers are conspiring to malign the image of servitors community since long. Attempts are also being made to interfere in the culture and tradition of the temple and also hamper the livelihood of the community unnecessarily dragging us to court now and then, ” Kashinath Khuntia, Shree Jagannath Sebayat Sammilani Convenor rued.

“Despite repeated pleas before the State Government to intervene and protect the sanctity of the shrine, we are being intentionally targetted  leading to tarnishing of the 12th century temple, senior servitor Binayak Dasmohapatra said.

“At last we came to seek divine intervention of the Lord and hope to abide by decisions taken by the apex court in today’s hearing, said Dasmohapatra.