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Puri Srimandir Sebayats Should Haven’t Disrupted Rituals, It’s Intolerable: Odisha Law Minister

31 December 2018

Debashish Maharana

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Bhubaneswar: In the wake of the unprecedented indiscipline committed by the Puri Srimandir sebayats (temple servitors) for having delayed the pious rituals of the deities for about 12 hours and deprived devotees from darshan last week protesting the servitor-police face off, Odisha Law Minister Pratap Jena today condemned it.

The Law Minister is also in charge of Shree Jaganath Temple Administration (SJTA) as per the Odisha Government’s Shree Jagannath Temple Act 1954.

In his media reactions, the Law Minister said, “Whatever has happened, it is extremely saddening. Sebayats should always discuss with us regarding their demands and issues. Instead of discussing, disruption of Lord Jagannath’s seva (rituals and service) is never justified.”

“We are conscious of it. Also discussion has been held with the Sebayats. We’ll never tolerate any sort of disruptions in the seva of Prabhu Jagannath,” he remarked.

On the contrary, senior leader Bijoy Mohapatra in his reactions said, “The incident that happened in Puri has hurt all the people of Odisha. Even though it was a petty matter and was already known from the previous day, the administration didn’t pay attention to it nor ensured smooth solemnization of rituals in the temple.”

“Had the administration been alert, such indiscipline could have been averted. Gajapati Maharaj should also not forget that he is the chief of the managing committee. He has also the responsibility to see how the temple rituals and affairs should be performed in a disciplined manner. Both the Government and Gajapati shouldn’t deem the incident to be trivial,” the former minister remarked.

Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranajan Patnaik commented, “After taking over all the responsibilities, Gajapati hasn’t been left behind with any responsibility. This Government is not doing anything. Instances like this galore though Lord Jagannath is our presiding deity.”

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Pratap Jena, Minister, Law, Odisha

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Bijoy Mohapatra, Senior Leader, Odisha

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Niranjan Patnaik, President, PCC, Odisha