Puri Srimandir reforms: Temple servitors stage protest

Puri: Servitors of the Puri Srimandir on Thursday staged demonstration in front of the temple opposing disciplinary reforms suggested by the Supreme Court and alleged that a conspiracy is being hatched against them.

The servitors alleged that restriction on collection of donations from devotees will adversely affect their livelihood.

“This move of the administration will force the servitors to handover all the keys of the Srimandir and go outside the State to work as bonded labourers,” said senior Daitapati servitor, Vinayak Das Mohapatra.

General Secretary of Jagannath Sevayat Sammilani, Kashinath Khuntia said “The customs, rituals and traditions shouldn’t be destroyed like this. We strongly condemn the administration’s move to destroy the Sanatana Dharma.”

The apex court in June had barred servitors to accept direct donations from devotees and suggested that all donations should be collected in Hundis.

The court had also ordered the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) to install more CCTV cameras at appropriate locations on the temple premises to check exploitation and attack on devotees.

The SC, taking strong note of alleged mismanagement and exploitation of devotees by servitors in Srimandir had issued a number of such directives.

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