Ruckus in Puri Srimandir cannot be ruled out on New Year: Odisha Police

Bhubaneswar: The Special Branch of Odisha Police today expressed apprehension about repetition of December 28-like ruckus inside Puri Srimandir on New Year tomorrow. In a letter to Puri SP, Home secretary and other senior officials, the special branch SP requested all concerned authorities to remain alert and take appropriate steps to prevent any unpleasant situation.

The intelligence unit highlighted the fact that there is discontentment among the sevayats over the decision of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) to introduce ticket system for darshan of deities and new rate chart for the sale of ‘Maha Prasad’.

Furthermore, there is resentment among the servitors as neither the SJTA nor the district administration held discussions with the servitors to resolve the standoff.

“As per the schedule, the sevayats have decided to perform the rituals from 2 AM on January 1, 2019 and will complete the rituals including ‘Pahada’ by 4 PM. If it happens, thousands of devotees will be deprived of getting darshan of deities on New Year and will be an embarrassing situation for temple administration and district administration,” the special branch report read.

SJTA chief administrator, Pradipta Mohapatra on the other hand claimed that devotees need not worry as rituals have been streamlined at Puri Srimandir.

“The darshan and other rituals went smoothly today and we hope that servitors will cooperate in coming days also,” said Mohapatra.