Puri Srimandir ritual controversy: Niti administrator submits report

 

Puri: A day after ‘Mahaprasad’ was made available to devotees after four days of impasse, Niti Prasashak (temple ritual administrator) has submitted a report to Chief Administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA). The report mentions the names of some servitors from different Nijogs primarily responsible for disrupting conduct of rituals.

The report has categorically indicated some servitors instigated and prevented others not to conduct rituals of Lord Jagannath from the beginning of the first Niti (rituals) on April 16, sources said.

The Niti administrator has accused ‘Bhitaraccha’ Bhabani Shankar Mahapatra and Damodar Mahasuar of Suar Mahasuar Nijog of disrupting rituals of Lord Jagannath in the report.

Despite temple administration orders to assign another servitor as a replacement of Palia servitor to conduct the rituals, servitors prevented him and sought the Orissa High Court intervention.

“It created abnormal delay in performing regular rituals of Lord by the servitors who misinterpreted and misunderstood the implication of the order passed by Orissa High Court on April 10, 2018,” the report stated.

The rituals which were to be performed ahead of Puri Srimandir Jagamohan opening on April 16, had got delayed after the ‘Palia’ servitor supposed to perform the puja failed to turn up citing some health issues.

This had led to delay in serving of morning bhoga to the deities that was served around 4 pm which had sparked massive resentment among devotees.

Later, servitors of Suar and Mahasuar nijog staged protests seeking compensation for the wastage of bhoga. Apprehending trouble, the Nijog distributed ‘Khechudi bhog’ among devotees free of cost after offering ‘Kotha Bhog’ to the deities.

The Orissa High Court had expressed displeasure over delay of temple rituals and unavailability of Mahaprasad due to rift between ‘Suara-Mahasuar Nijog’ and the temple administration over unsold ‘Abadha (Mahaprasad)’.