Pradeep Pattanayak

Two temples-Bati Mandir and Dhuni Mandir- located on the premises of famous Mahima shrine at Joranda in Dhenkanal district bit the dust on Tuesday. 

Before carrying out demolition drive, the local administration clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 and deployed five platoon police forces at the site to avoid any law and order situation. Then, in presence of the Sub-Collector and ASP, JCB machines rolled into the shrine and razed the temples to the ground. 

Notably, Bakkaladhari Mahima Samaj and Kaupindhari Mahima Samaj had been locking horns over possession of Bati Mandir and Dhuni Mandir. The matter had been subjudice in the High Court since 1945. Acting upon the court order in this regard, the local administration demolished the temples. 

Presently, barricades have been put up around the shrine to prohibit common people from entering the disputed site. 

However, the Kaupindhari Mahima Samaj has accused the Bakkaladhari Mahima Samaj of orchestrating the demolition. 
“The temple was being used by Kaupindharis. It is Bakkaladhari Mahima Samaj who conspired against us and finally got it demolished,” said Math Mahanta of Kaupindhari Mahima Samaj, Raghunath Dash. 

On the other hand, the president of Bakkaladhari Mahima Samaj termed the allegation as baseless and said the demolition has been carried out as per the court order. 

“This is not the main temple. The main temple is Gadi Mandir. I only know that the temples were demolished as per the court order and know nothing beyond that,” maintained president of Bakkaladhari Mahima Samaj, Baba Sukadev Dash. 

Meanwhile, the Kaupindhari Mahima Samaj has decided to knock the doors of the Supreme Court for 'justice'. 

“With respect to the temples, there was a court order in 1940. While maintaining the order, the High Court had ordered for the demolition. The same has been executed. We don’t have anything to say in this regard. But, the order also contains a line saying separate space should be provided to saints before carrying out the order. Hiding this line, the order has been carried out. So we will go to higher court for justice,” said advocate Girija Shankar Nayak, who is fighting the case on behalf of Koupindhari Mahima Samaj.