Row over entry of foreigner’s baby in Puri Srimandir

Puri: Tension prevailed at Puri Srimandir after a priest was today accused of entering the temple along with a baby, suspected to be that of a foreigner. Though the priest claimed himself to be a local resident, he however, said that he has married a foreign national and the baby was his son.

The priest, who identified himself as Prashant Hazari, communicated in Hindi and Odia and entered the Srimandir through the Western gate. After local residents created ruckus, Prashant questioned why he could not enter the temple with his son even though he married a foreign national.

“I had taken my son (Shyam Bihari) to temple so as to make him acquainted with God,” said Prashant.

Local resident, Rajendra Kara blamed poor security measures at the shrine for such lapses.

Puri SP Umashankar Das said, “The person, who claims to be a local, had taken the baby by covering him. Later, it was alleged that the child was a foreign national. We are investigating the matter.”