Puri Emar mutt chief refuses to vacate seat after demolition

Puri: Refusing to cooperate with the district administration in the demolition of the ancient Emar Mutt near Puri Srimandir, the Chief (Mahanta) of the 12th century mutt, Rajgopal Ramanuj Das today clarified that he would not budge even an inch from his seat.

Speaking to OTV, Mahanta Das informed that prior to eviction near Puri Jagannath temple, the district authorities had assured him not to demolish his residence and ‘gadi ghar’ (prayer house) inside the premises of the mutt, but since they have gone back on their words, he will not relocate.

Showing dissatisfaction over a makeshift housing arrangement inside a storage container provided to him, the Mahanta complained before the administration that he is not going to live inside it.

Ramanuja Das further said that he is going through a harrowing time due to the demolition drive on the mutt as all the necessary provisions, like electricity, have been stopped.

On the other hand, the district administration continued with its demolition drive to raze structures within 75 metres from the boundary wall of the Srimandir. After pulling down the Bristish-era Raghunandan Library, the administration today razed the structures in Bania Pati area that housed more than 11 gold jewellery shops.

However, shopkeepers have criticised the administration’s move alleging that they have not been given enough time to relocate. Meanwhile, in order to maintain law and order and ensure hassle-free drive against the encroachments, as many as 30 platoons of police force have been deployed.