Puri temple seeks govt guidance

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[su_dropcap]T[/su_dropcap]he Jagannath Temple Administration has moved the law department, seeking guidance for implementation of the ban on pilgrims atop chariots during Rath Yatra at Puri.

Temple’s chief administrator and revenue divisional commissioner Arvind Padhee wrote a letter to the law department, two days ago. “We have requested the law department to guide us for smooth implementation of the decision,” Padhee told TOI.

The restriction was announced on November 7 following recommendations by Puri Sankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati in the wake of assault on some foreign pilgrims atop the chariots. The decision has since sparked resentment among a section of priests, who demand immediate revocation of the ban.

Now all eyes are on the law minister and Puri MLA Maheswar Mohanty whether he gives his nod to the decision, keeping in mind the general elections. “I will examine the recommendations,” Mohanty said.

Condemning the Sankaracharya’s proposals, priests of Daitapati Nijog threatened to disrupt rituals during Rath Yatra in 2014. The Jagannanth Temple Administration said the order would be enforced.

“A sub-committee has been formed to finalize the modalities. Soon, a high-level meeting will be held in the state secretariat to discuss measures for smooth implementation of the order,” Padhee said.


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