03 September 2019
Puri: The Puri district administration was not able to carry out demolition of the Bada Akhada Mutt which was scheduled on Tuesday. Under pressure from the seers who were protesting the demolition, the district administration decided to withhold the demolition process. According to sources, the district administration will hold a discussion with the Mutt seers and then take further steps in this regard.
The mutt inmates said that there was no risk to the building structure so the claims of the administration were not acceptable. Mahant Hari Narayan Das said that the seers should be duly consulted before executing demolition activities. "The administration should have a face to face meeting with senior Mahants and elaborate the plans and programmes for the Bada Danda and Puri as a whole," he said.
Today, the inmates of the Bada Akhada Mutt in Puri have resorted to a peaceful agitation protesting the proposed demolition of the establishment. While the district administration had scheduled the demolition on Tuesday (September 3), locals, inmates of the mutt and their contemporaries from Odisha and other states have announced a mass protest.
Meanwhile, 10 platoons of force have been deployed in the area. The principal Mahant of the mutt has been evicted and taken to the Sub-Collector's office. The situation on the mutt premises remains tense. The excavators and other machineries have been lined up outside the mutt.
A large number of seers and saints were scheduled to arrive at the Mutt to join the protest, sources added.
On the other hand Puri Collector Balwant Singh said, "This is all about security of Shree Jagannath Temple, preserving mutts and institutions connected to Jagannath Culture and Sanatan Dharma." As per the announcement of the Chief Minister, we will supporting the development of all the mutts.
"Besides, we will ensure that the tradition of the mutts within 75 metres (affected ones) is preserved and make better. The commercial structures might not exist, and the residences shifted beyond 75 metres, but our intention is to make the mutts even better," the Puri Collector added.