Rituals resume at Puri Srimandir after 12 hours of delay

Puri: Anxious wait of thousands of devotees soon turned into a euphoric onrush into the Puri Srimandir as the authorities threw the temple gates open after hours of delay, disappointment & deadlock. Devotees were seen storming the temple to get a glimpse of the Holy Trinity after 12 hours of ordeal on account of a standoff between the police and servitors for which all the rituals at the 12th century shrine were delayed.

Informing about development, Puri Collector Jyoti Prakash Das said that the gates of Puri Srimandir will remain open till midnight to facilitate devotees to have darshan. “As the devotees were deprived of darshan since early morning, we have decided to allow darshan till midnight tonight,” said Das.

“After Mangala Arati, other rituals were conducted and devotees were allowed inside the temple. But the temple authorities should ensure that the rituals are not hampered,” said a devotee.

Protesting the assault of one of their colleagues allegedly by police personnel yesterday, the servitors had stopped all the rituals inside Puri Srimandir today. As a result, the inner gates of the temple were not opened for which devotees, who queued up since early morning, failed to enter the temple for the darshan of deities.

This led to massive resentment among devotees who had come to Puri from different parts of the State and outside. Moreover, disappointment was written large on devotees, many of whom were seen crying before the Puri temple after failing to get a glimpse of Lord Jagannath.

Following the deadlock, Puri Gajapati Maharaj Dibyasingha Deb had also urged the Odisha government functionaries to intervene citing that nothing is more important than the rituals of the deities of Puri Srimandir.

“Delay in Puri Srimandir rituals was a deliberate & sponsored act of ministers Maheswar Mohanty & Pradeep Maharathy to divert attention from Pipili gang rape and murder case” alleged BJP spokesperson Pitambar Acharya at a presser in Bhubaneswar today.

Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief, Niranjan Patnaik had earlier condemned the unfortunate incident and blamed the temple administration and the State government for failing to resolve the deadlock.

“The way the servitor was misbehaved with and manhandled by cops was unfortunate. The issue could have easily been resolved but it was allowed to snowball into a controversy,” said Patnaik.