Temple Administration Acts under Pressure Suspends 9 Servitors; Six Others Arrested for Attacking Journalists

Bhubaneswar: After the late Sunday night mess by servitors during Niladri Bije of the three deities back to the Temple and subsequent public outcry condemning the incident, today on Tuesday under tremendous pressure from all quarters of the society the Puri police managed to arrest all 6 servitors involved in attacking the media persons and disrupting the smooth completion of rituals.

Not only that another set of 9 servitors have also been suspended by the Shri Jagnnath Temple administration that had violated the ban on climbing of the chariots and misbehaved with Arvind Agarwal the Collector and District Magistrate, Puri.

The 9 suspended servitors are Damodar Mahasuar, Jaykrushna Mahasuar, Bhagirathi Khuntia, Saina Khuntia, Bhimsen Palankadhari, Ipsita Pratihari, Rabi Das, Rabi Khuntia and Kashinath Khuntia.

According to chief administrator of Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Suresh Mohapatra, these 9 servitors were suspended for delaying Niladri Bije rituals, misbehaving with the Collector and flouting the rules of chariot climbing. He said, “we have examined the CCTV footage of the Niladri Bije and suspended nine servitors from duty under clause A and C of section 21 (B) of Sri Jagannath Temple Act 1954,”

Mohapatra further added that soon charges will be framed against the 9 violators and disciplinary action will be taken.

Earlier in the day the six arrested servitors Bapi Khuntia, Shankar Palankdhari, Bipin Patri, Papun Mohapatra, Baban Khuntia and Madan Khuntia were produced before the court of the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate and the magistrate rejected their bail plea and sent them to judicial custody.

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