Rath Yatra in Nayagarh hit by controversy

Nayagarh: Controversy on who will perform the ‘Cheera Panhara’ ritual during Rath Yatra tomorrow in Nayagarh has taken an ugly turn.

As per the tradition, after the demise of King Krushna Chandra Singh Mandhata, his elder son Brajendra Singh Mandhata had been performing the ritual. However, following Bajendra’s death, his elder son Gajendra, was performing the ritual since 2012.

But last year, son of the second wife of Krushna Chandra Singh, Rameshwar Singh took an approval from the Orissa High Court and performed the ‘Cheera Panhara’ ritual.

However, locals are now opposing Rameshwar’s ‘Cheera Panhara’ citing that he has not been coronated while demanding restoration of earlier tradition, allowing Gajendra to perform the ritual.

Dakhani Manjari Singh, granddaughter of Brajendra, said, “Public sentiments are getting hurt with the move. Therefore, we will raise our voice to save the tradition and want support from the people of Nayagarh.”

Toeing on similar lines, Balabhadra Pradhan, a local stated, “As Gajendra Singh was coronated in 2012, the same family should perform the rituals as per the tradition.”

However, Nayagarh sub collector Jitendra Kumar Sahu said the HC order will be carried out and Rameshwar should perform the Cheera Panhara.