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Servitors challenge Gajapati, SJTA on touching deities, threaten to move court

 Even as allegations of devotees touching the deities during Kirtan Chakada of Lord Balabhadra were levelled by Badagrahi of Devi Subhadra, Ramchandra Dasmohapatra today, a group of servitors claimed there is nothing wrong in it.

A group of servitors led by Daitapatis—Jagannath Swain Mohapatra and Ramkrushna Das Mohapatra claimed that there is ‘no harm in touching the deities’. The servitors also opposed Puri Gajapati Maharaj Dibyasingha Deb’s  views that there should be a complete ban on touching of deities irrespective of the place.

The Puri Gajapati had on Saturday said, “Be it the garbha gruha, adapa madap, snana bedi, pahandi or atop the chariots, no one should touch the deities.” Earlier, the SJTA had banned touching deities by devotees during pahandi or atop chariots during Rath Yatra this year via a notice issued on June 23.

Meanwhile, refuting the allegations, SJTA chief administrator Pradip Jena said there have been no irregularities.  “Touching of deities by devotees or devotees in disguise will be considered as a cognizable offence. In the event of someone being caught in such act, penal action as provided in the law will be taken,” SJTA had warned through a notice.

 Both the Daitapatis on the other hand further challenged the ‘ban’ imposed by the SJTA and stated that “We would move Orissa High Court, if needed, against such move of the administration,” said Ramkrushna Das Mohapatra.


Précis 2017
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