Relief for local devotees as entry norm relaxed at Puri Srimandir

Puri: After violence during the bandh called over newly introduced queue system of entry into Srimandir stalled the entire pilgrim town leading to law and order situation yesterday, the administration has now decided to relax the new arrangement and allow the entry of local devotees through three other gates- Hathidwara, Vyaghradwara and Ashwadwara apart from Singhadwara.

After a peace meeting with other stakeholders yesterday, Puri Collector Jyoti Prakash Das informed that local devotees will now be allowed to move through the other three gates after they produce necessary ID proof such as Aadhaar card.

“Like the sevayats, the local devotes of Puri can enter the temple through the temple through the three gates by producing any type of government approved photo ID proofs so that their identity can be established,” said Das.

Servitor groups and the local public have given their consent over the relaxation in the new arrangement. Meanwhile, Shree Jagannath Sena Convenor Priyadarshan Pattnaik who spearheaded the protest has urged the administration to repeal the queue system.

Puri

“I welcome the move. Not only locals, the rule should be made for the people of Odisha. Since it is a trouble time for the concerned authorities, they have reluctantly accepted our demands. But they have made up their minds to install barricades by digging the holy twenty-two steps (Baishi Pahacha) for the queue system which is against the religious sentiment of the people,” Pattnaik said, adding that they will resort to protest if the queue system is not withdrawn.

Earlier on Wednesday, the socio-cultural outfit resorted to large-scale vandalism and ransacking on Badadanda while observing bandh in Puri over eight-point charter of demands including scrapping of newly implemented queue system in the 12th century shrine.

Members of the outfit blocked road by burning tyres on Badadanda and ransacked the office of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA). The protestors also vandalised the residence of Puri MLA and revenue minister Maheswar Mohanty, pelted stones at the house of Puri SP Sarthak Sarangi and attacked police personnel deployed in the pilgrim town.

Later, police conducted a flag march on Puri Grand Road to bring the situation under control and restore peace in the town.