Ritual disruption at Srimandir: Action will be taken after probe, says SJTA chief

Puri: The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) chief administrator Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra today said that the shutdown incident and disruption of rituals at the Srimandir on Friday will be probed and action will be taken against the guilty.

Expressing grave concern over the incident, Mohapatra said the servitors have been cautioned so that such incidents do not happen in the future.

“A similar incident also happened in 2012 when I was the RDC-cum-chief administrator. Recurrence of such disciplinary issues does not bode well. The service to the Lords is the prime responsibility of the servitors while the administration has a little role to play. If they stay adamant and do not cooperate during times of disputes then it feels like the administration is helpless,” said Mohapatra.

The chief administrator further added that the controversy refused to resolve initially when the servitors made some irresponsible demands. “The demands for transfer of the SP and withdrawal of police cases in connection with the October 3rd Puri violence incident are unacceptable,” he said.

Puri King Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb too showed displeasure over the incident and urged the State government to accord highest priority to the service of Lord Jagannath.

“Prior to 1960 when the management of Srimandir was under the jurisdiction of the royal family, the service was the foremost duty and the Gajapati himself was dedicated to the cause. Its time that we recollect those times and ensure that the management of the temple is carried out like that,” Dibyasingha Deb said.

Supporting the comments of Gajapati, Leader of Oppostoion Narasingha Mishra came down hard on the State government over the issue. “The law and order situation has gone for a toss in the State and the government is responsible for it,” he said.